California Department of Education, October 2020 Update

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

It continues to remain quiet in Sacramento as the State Superintendent has issued a statement effectively mandating that staff stay at home until December 31. Only essential staff should be in the building. Even when 2021 rolls around, the consensus is that only about 25% of the employees will return to work in the office. There will be a gradual return to maintain safety and address ongoing health concerns.

What is really going on in Agricultural Education? Let’s take a gander through the myriad of topics.

Agriculture Incentive Grant

  1. 2020-2021 – Funding list was sent to the CDE Budget Office for approval. Once approved, it will go upstairs for processing and approval by the administration. Agriculture teachers will be notified when the AO400‘s are mailed to District Superintendent.
  2. 2022-2023 – Due to the current circumstances and the desire to make sure we are listening and doing our best to put together effective changes to the current application, the implementation date for the new application has been adjusted to June 30, 2022. Specific questions or recommendations should be directed to Mr. Mooney.
  3. Fall 2020 to Spring 2021 – Agriculture Incentive Grant Committee will meet to review proposals from teachers and make a final recommendation to State Staff.
  4. Fall 2020 – Zoom meetings held to solicit input and discussion from teachers. 
  5. Fall 2020 – Regional meetings will be a perfect opportunity to ask your region’s representative questions to clarify what the committee is recommending.
  6. Spring 2021 – State Agricultural Education Advisory Committee will review the proposed application and provide suggestions and thoughts.
  7. Summer 2021 – Summer CATA Conference will provide a final opportunity for teacher input. 
  8. Summer 2021 – State Staff will submit the new application to the Department of Education for approval.
  9. January 2022 – New application along with instructions will be posted.
  10. June 2022 – Programs wishing to be considered for funding through the Agriculture Incentive Grant program must submit the newly approved application. 

Career Development Events

  1. On October 19, a meeting will be held with institutions who host field days to review schedules, options, etc.
  2. Cotton Judging, Natural Resources, Citrus Judging, Tree Pruning and Vine Pruning State Finals will be held in a virtual format.
  3. Agriscience Fair will operate under a different timeline this year. Judging will not occur during the State FFA Leadership Conference. Mrs. Goehring will be providing an update with details and the new timeline.

Leadership Continuum

  1. Greenhand Conferences  will be held virtually. November 2 is the date when materials will be available.
  2. Made for Excellence Conferences and Advanced Leadership Academies will be held in a virtual format also. Registration and other information will be forthcoming from Ms. Garrett.
  3. Sacramento Leadership Experience looking into the possibility of  postponing the event to later in the spring in hopes of an in-person event. Ms. Garrett will be providing details as they are confirmed.


  1. Section Leadership Nights hosted by the State FFA Officers in cooperation with the Regional FFA Officers are currently happening throughout the state. Over  1,000 students have taken part in these leadership development events to date.
  2. National FFA Convention registration is open! Information relative to the challenge events, updated schedule, benefits of registering, etc. was posted here on October 1.

Stay tuned as more information will be forthcoming in the near future regarding leadership development events, state leadership conference updates and any calendar adjustments.

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

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