Sacramento Scene, December 2019

By: Matt Patton, CATA Executive Director


The holiday season gives us time to reflect, rejuvenate and prepare for the hectic spring that awaits all agricultural educators. Several of you will accidentally set off the alarms at school sites as you continue to serve your students, FFA programs and your community over the break. Traditionally, agricultural teachers spend time on campus when other teachers are off campus, as they do one of two things; desperately trying to catch up or trying to get ahead of the upcoming spring tsunami of events, field days, CDE practices, project visits, fairs and the like. Take a couple of days over break to spend time with friends and family and reconnect with those loved ones that share you with your FFA families during the school year. Thank those that support you in your labor of love that is being an agricultural teacher. 

Many campuses will be closing this week after a whirlwind of final exams, culminating projects, make up work, student pleas, and a gluttony of cookies, candy, and caffeine. Before leaving campus, remember to thank those at your site that help to make your program a success. Gratitude to the following individuals goes a long way; administration, support staff, custodial, maintenance, security, FFA boosters and alumni groups, and anyone else that makes your job easier. Above all, give a special thanks to those individuals you spend ten, twelve, or more hours a day with, your fellow agricultural teachers. 

5 minutes before you go – Call to Action for the Perkins Plan

Please, take a couple of minutes to make public comment on the California State Plan for Perkins V. This document will govern how Perkins funding is allocated to CTE programs over the next several years. There are several parts of the document that are beneficial to agricultural education that need to be reinforced and a couple that could be modified to better serve students at both the secondary and post-secondary levels. You don’t need to comment on all aspects of the plan, pick the two that you are most passionate about and write an original paragraph directed at them specifically. Use the link below to make public comment about the plan. 

Items that are important to agricultural education and CATA, and included in the Draft California Perkins V State Plan are as follows:

  • Proper credentialing of CTE teachers – page 54
  • Career Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) and leadership development – page 65 & 66
  • Definition of an alternative to CTSO leadership development – page 65
  • Industry Involvement (required two industry advisory committee meetings) – page 54

Items that are concerning for agricultural education and CATA included in the Draft California Perkins V State Plan

  • Accountability for Results – The committee has chosen option (b) as California’s accountability measure. Option (b) measures the percentage of students completing dual enrollment classes. – page 131
  • The preferable option would be option (c) the percentage of students participated in work-based learning. – page 130

Click on the link below to submit comments to the CWPJAC related to the Draft California Perkins V State Plan. Look for the Give Feedback button on the linked page.


Written Public Comment on the California Perkins V State Plan

Have a wonderful holiday season and a great start to 2020. 


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Matt Patton, Executive Director, California Agricultural Teachers’ Assn.,, 209 744-1605

For more information about the California Agricultural Teachers’ Association, visit

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