CATA Governance at the CATA Summer Conference

By Matt Patton

Below are summaries of the actions and initiatives discussed during the pre- and post-conference CATA Governing Board meetings at the CATA Summer Conference in June. Complete minutes will be posted on the CATA website for those interested in more detail. 

Pre-Conference CATA Governing Board Meeting Summary

It was reported that registration at the 2022 CATA Summer Conference was at an all-time high, with more than 950 participants attending. In addition, the awards banquet hosted by the Central Region was sold out with a 70-person waitlist. 

Judy Aschwanden was presented and accepted as a candidate for the State CATA Treasurer position. Mrs. Aschwanden’s name was forwarded to the Awards/Nominations/Bylaws committee. 

During the meeting’s Curricular Code (CC) section, the Governing Board reviewed the proposed changes submitted for numerous contests.

List C of the Curricular Code was scheduled to open, and submissions from Ag Mechanics, Ag Pest Control, Agricultural Welding, Agronomy, Floriculture, Job Interview, Marketing Plan, and Agricultural Communications were all submitted and accepted. 

The contests submitted out of rotation included Agriscience, Best Informed Greenhand, Forestry, General Rules, Livestock, Marketing, Meats, Milk Quality and Dairy Foods, Soil and Land, and Vegetable Crops, and Veterinary Science.

All contests were approved to open out of rotation by the Governing Board. The abnormally large group requesting an out of rotation was due to alignment with the new tabulations system being used for State Finals contests. 

The following Career Development Events were placed on probation for not having a minimum of five teams compete at State Finals in 2022: Ag Computers, Farm Business Management, Vine Judging, Marketing Plan, and Food Science. Probation lasts one year, and the contests will be reviewed after the probationary term. Any contest that fails to field at least five teams at State Finals during a probation year could be suspended or eliminated as a State Finals contest.

Post-Conference CATA Governing Board Meeting Summary

CATA President Kevin Woodard asked the Governing Board to review the CATA Operating Policies and By-laws. The 2022-23 CATA Executive Committee has prioritized updating and cleaning up CATA governance documentation. Potential edits and changes will be presented to the membership for approval in the coming year.

The Governing Board spent time writing thank you cards to the individuals, schools, and organizations that host career development event (CDE) field days and contests. The Governing Board identified the importance of expressing gratitude to those groups that help bring Career Development and Leadership Development events to FFA students of California.

Regional CATA Leadership was given an update on the process and materials needed for each region to obtain their own tax identification numbers, nonprofit status, and bank accounts. Another emphasis of the Governing Board for the 2022-23 year is to establish each region as an independent nonprofit, separate from any FFA or State CATA affiliation. This separation will insulate all groups from potential conflicts of interest. 

The suspension of the Agricultural Computers CDE that passed in the pre-conference Governing Board meeting was reconsidered and rescinded. 

The Ag Computers contest was then placed on the CATA Curricular Code probation list. For the Ag Computers contest to continue to be offered, the contest must improve to meet the Curricular Code requirements for State Finals contests in 2023. 

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