Sacramento Scene: Recap

By: Matt Patton, CATA Executive Director

For many, the end of the year serves as a time for reflection. The last couple of years have been the most challenging in recent educational history. As our understanding and adaptation to the COVID-19 pandemic increases, we move to a more traditional school environment and increasingly familiar educational experience. As we transition, time should be taken to reflect on the accomplishments of agricultural education during the pandemic. The membership of CATA has shown remarkable resilience and flexibility to continue to serve over 92,000 students in agricultural education in California. The accomplishments listed below are a tribute to the work of the membership despite those challenges of 2020 and 2021. Thanks to everyone that continued to contribute to this great profession. Let’s celebrate the positive things that have been accomplished despite the state of the world. This is not a comprehensive list of the achievements of our profession, merely highlights. 

California Agricultural Teachers’ Association 2020

  • Pushed back a proposed 50% reduction in Career Technical Education Incentive Grant (CTEIG), K-12 Strong WorkForce, and Ag Incentive Grant funding in the California State Budget.
  • Nearly $1 million in grant funds was awarded to the AgAlign Certification project to continue the student certification initiative started in the Central Region.
  • Implementation of virtual CDE contests facilitated by the CATA membership.
  • First virtual CATA Summer Conference provided at no cost to the CATA membership.
  • Language inserted into Perkins V clearly defines Career Technical Student Organizations replacing the vague leadership development language.

California Agricultural Teachers’ Association 2021 

  • $150 million in additional funding was added to CTEIG funding, with this addition bringing the total available secondary CTE funding to nearly $500 million annually.
  • CATA membership is at an all-time organization high.
  • Highest recorded attendance at the CATA Summer Conference.
  • The curricular redesign of the Delta Conference occurs, where the new Cal-Delta will debut in 2022, increasing access to this transformational professional development event.

CA FFA 2020

  • Two forgiven PPP Loans to CA FFA to offset $160,000 in salaries.
  • CA FFA was released from all State FFA Conference contracts.
  • 97% return or credit of all State FFA Conference down payments.
  • Implementation of virtual Greenhand, MFE, ALA, and SLE conferences.
  • The debut of the first-ever virtual State FFA Conference.
  • CA FFA member David Lopez elected to National FFA office.

CA FFA 2021

  • First-ever FFA Caucus was created in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • In-person Greenhand, MFE, ALA, and SLE conferences reconvened.
  • 29 CA FFA students represented California as finalists in the National Proficiency Awards program.
  • 22 CA FFA Agriscience research projects were recognized at the National Level.
  • California teams won the following National CDE contests: Ag Issues, Livestock Evaluation, Marketing Plan, Parliamentary Procedure, and Veterinary Science.
  • Sixty-seven teams and individuals represented California at the National Level in Career Development and Leadership Development Events.

During this holiday season, take some time to reflect on your personal perseverance and accomplishments during the pandemic. An inventory of individual and professional achievements can quantify the growth and success that you have experienced since the world changed in the Spring of 2020. 

Take time to rejuvenate and connect with family and friends during the break. A spring full of in-person events and face-to-face conferences is just around the corner.

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