California Department of Education Update, May 2020

By: Charles Parker, California Department of Education, State FFA Advisor

When I was fortunate to be in the classroom, I looked forward to the Spring where I could spend every weekend with students. Traveling the state in a van created some lasting memories. Unfortunately, this year the Spring experience was cut short. But, with some hard work by teachers and creative thinking, we are in a position to provide some semblance of a State Finals in many of our LDE’s and CDE’s.

I want to personally thank those teachers that have stepped up and found a way to deliver a virtual State Finals for our students. It will most certainly be different, but then different could be better!

For many, the question circles around qualifying for a National Finals and thus the concern regarding what National FFA may or may not be doing. We are monitoring news from the National FFA on a daily basis to ensure that we are providing the most up-to-date details to teachers. At this time, National FFA has shared that around mid-May they are hoping to have an answer regarding how CDE’s and LDE’s will be handled this year. We will provide those details as they are released.

Please know that our decision to move forward with providing opportunities for our students was not dependent upon National FFA. We wanted to do what was best for California and for our students. We developed committees in each contest area that was chaired by the coach of the State Champion team from last year. Each committee was challenged to determine if it was appropriate to offer a State Finals and if it was possible to have a virtual experience. The committee reports were reviewed by State Staff, CATA Executive Committee and Teacher Educators.

It was determined that individuals participating in Career Development Events (CDE) or Leadership Development Events (LDE) that end at the State Level who are part of the state winning team or the state winning individual will be considered as State Champions and will not be eligible to compete in that event in future years.

However, individuals participating in CDE’s or LDE’s that lead to competition in National Finals shall be reinstated should National Finals be cancelled. If National Finals are conducted, either virtually or in person, then members that are recognized as State Champions will not be eligible to compete in future years in that event. In addition, should it be determined that participation in the National Finals is prohibited due to the current pandemic, students will be reinstated.
The following schedules are being provided to help you prepare should you elect to have students take part in CDE’s or LDE’s. For specific information regarding a CDE, visit this link. To register for a CDE event, please visit this link.

LDE Calendar 2020

CDE Calendar 2020

Proposed Calendar

May 20 Agronomy State Finals

May 21-22 Computer Applications State Finals

May 27 Ag Pest Control State Finals

May 29 Vegetable Crops State Finals

June 11 Nursery/Landscape State Finals

June 12 Marketing (CoOp) State Finals

June 17 Livestock Evaluation State Finals

June 18-19 Farm Records AET State Finals

June 20 Horse Evaluation State Finals

June 25 Forestry State Finals

June 26 Grapevine Judging State Finals

June 26 Meats Evaluation State Finals

July 7 Farm Business Management State Finals

July 8 Best Informed Greenhand State Finals

July 9 Marketing Plan State Finals

July 11 Ag Sales State Finals

July 14-15 Ag Mechanics State Finals

July 16 Fruit Tree Judging State Finals

July 17 Ag Issues State Finals

July 25 Dairy Cattle Evaluation State Finals

Dates to be Determined

Floriculture State Finals

Adv Parli Pro Reg Finals

Nov Parli Pro Reg Finals

Electing to Not Conduct State Finals

Ag Communications

Ag Welding

Farm Power and Machinery

Milk and Dairy Foods

Poultry Evaluation

Small Engines

Soil and Land Judging

Veterinary Science

Each individual, student, teacher, parent and stakeholder must address the decision that is best for them. If teachers elect to not participate this year, we most certainly understand that decision and respect it. If teachers elect to take part in one or more CDE or LDE, we respect that decision. We realize that there is no solution that will be met with everyone’s approval. But, we do hope that we will all appreciate the thoughts that go into making these tough decisions and respect each other for doing what is best for their students.

Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to myself or a member of the State Staff. 

This Spring is not what we are used to, but hopefully you are staying healthy and taking advantage of the extra time you are able to spend with family. Be safe my friends.

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