What is SAI?
SAI stands for the Summer Agricultural Institute. It is a 5-day, traveling workshop that begins in Phoenix and travels to a region of the state visiting agriculture industries along the way.
What will I learn from SAI?
Participants will experience firsthand the workings of modern-day agriculture by visiting some of Arizona’s agriculture industries and interacting with the men and women who are responsible for growing the food and fiber that feeds and clothes the world. You will also receive free curricula and training on classroom materials which incorporates agricultural concepts into the core subjects of math, science, and language arts. Visit the Quotes page to read what others say they have learned from SAI.
What does the SAI week look like?
Get ready for a busy week! Participants are to be at the starting location in Phoenix by 7AM and go strong all day long until late at night. Each day is spent traveling via charter bus to various agriculture industries. Most mornings, we leave the hotel by 7AM and don't get to the next hotel until around 8PM. Your travel, lodgings, and meals are covered.
Do I have to be a classroom teacher to participate?
No, you do not need to be a traditional K-12 classroom teacher to participate. Although SAI is designed with these educators in mind, other educators, such as program coordinators, instructional specialists, classroom presenters, school administrators, guidance counselors, and librarians have benefited from SAI.
Will I receive any credit for SAI?
Participants who complete SAI will receive a certificate indicating the earning of 48 professional development hours. Be sure to contact your district office to confirm their approval.
Participants have the option to earn up to three graduate level credits through The University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. These credits are paid for at your own expense and require registering with the University. The level of course work required by the professor will vary depending on the number of credit hours in which you enroll. Contact us immediately after receiving notification of acceptance into SAI in order to begin the graduate level credit process.
When is SAI?
Since 1991, SAI has been held in early June. The 2019 SAI will be held June 10-14.
How much does SAI cost?
There is no cost to apply for SAI, but you must be accepted to participate. Apply by March 1 and only pay $125, if you are accepted. Apply after March 1 and pay $175. Accepted applicants will need to provide payment by May 27.
How do I pay?
Applicants are not to pay for SAI unless they have received notification of acceptance into SAI. Payments can either be made online or mailed in (check or money order). Make payment to AZ Foundation for Ag Literacy. Mail payment to AZ Foundation for Ag Literacy P.O. Box 61682 Phoenix, AZ 85082-1682. Visit the Payment page for more details.
Will I have to pay for anything else other than the $125 or $175 (depending on when I submit my application)?
No. SAI rents a comfortable charter bus that transports participants from the starting location in Phoenix to the region of Arizona that will be toured and back again. SAI also makes arrangements for hotel rooms and three meals a day.
You are responsible for transporting yourself to the starting location. You are also responsible for covering any unique dietary restrictions, needs, or preferences. Meals will not be modified to accommodate for these.
Will I have to pay for any additional materials and products?
Participants will receive curricula and many teaching materials at no cost. No educational materials will be solicited. Some of the agricultural sites that are toured may have their own store and items for purchase. Please bring cash ($5 and $1). Time will be limited at these places and selections will need to be made quickly.
How can I get a refund?
The deadline to request a refund is May 27. Contact us by this date to make the request. After May 27, received funds will be allocated to costs accrued for SAI as a whole.
Why is there an application?
The cost for one’s travel, lodging, and meals for 4 nights & 5 days would be around $665/educator. However, participants are only asked to pay about 25% of this cost. The remaining 75% is paid for by the Arizona Foundation for Agricultural Literacy which is dependent on donations from Arizona agribusinesses. In order to remain fiscally responsible and to maximize the educational benefits, SAI limits the number of participants to 30 educators and selects those who are able to effectively share what they learn with their students and the community.
How are participants selected?
A committee of educators volunteer their time and talents to produce the SAI. These committee members begin reviewing the applications on May 2 and look for those who are the best fit for SAI. They primarily focus on the essay portion of the application to make this determination. The committee also looks for those who are able to effectively share what they learn with their students and the community. SAI is primarily designed for K-12 classroom teachers. Other K-12 educators are accepted based on the number of students they interact with during the year. Principals and other educational leadership are also strongly encouraged to apply.
Can I request a roommate?
Yes. Applicants are encouraged to apply with colleagues and may room together if both are accepted. There is a place on the application to make this request. Be sure that both individuals make this request. If you are attending by yourself, you will room with someone of your own gender. We will make efforts to pair you with someone who works with a similar population of students as you do.
What do I do if I have a special diet?
SAI will provide three meals a day, including breakfast on Monday, but not dinner on Friday. Meals are often planned well before participants are selected which makes it difficult to accommodate dietary restrictions. However, you are welcomed to initiate a dialogue via email regarding your dietary needs to explore options. Participants who require a unique diet are encouraged to bring along snacks to help supplement their dietary needs. Logistics prevent participants from being able to leave the group.
Can I spend the evening with family/friends in the area where we are staying?
No. Participants are not permitted to leave the group. SAI is a jam-packed week requiring a strict adherence to the schedule. Being away from the group runs too great a risk of not departing on time and has been problematic in the past.
Do I have to drive to all of the sites?
No. Transportation during the week and to all of the tour sites are provided via a large tour bus. However, participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from the starting location in Phoenix.
What should I do with my car?
It is strongly encouraged that participants have someone drop them off at the starting location. Although there has not been an instance of theft or vandalism during SAI, the parking lot is not secure and SAI cannot be held responsible for vehicles left on the premises. If a vehicle is left, it is to be parked near a light pole. This is not only for increased visibility at night, but it will also leave room for the bus to pick-up and drop off.
Can I carpool with other participants?
Once accepted, you may request emails of participants from your region. Coordination of carpooling will not be provided by SAI.
Why haven’t I heard back yet?
Due to the high volume of applications, applicants will not receive additional emails until receiving the results of their applications by May 10. When completing your application, it is important that you include an email address that you check regularly, especially in May and early June.
How can I contact you?
Email is best: AgLiteracy@cals.arizona.edu, and our phone is 602-827-8218.