The History of Agricultural Education in California (Part II)

By Charles Parker

This is part two of a series reflecting back on the major milestones of agricultural education.


1917 – Some states had associations of students studying vocational agriculture when the first National Vocational Education Act was passed by Congress.

1920 (July 13) – California Agricultural Teachers Association was formed.

1920 – Student programs began to be organized locally under Junior Farm Centers or Junior Aggies.

1922 – University of California at Davis included the first statewide judging event for vocational agriculture students as part of its annual “Picnic Day.”

1923 (September) – Arrangements made with officials of the California State Fair in Sacramento for a “camp” and a program of judging and other activities. Occasion was named “Camp Lillard” after Dr. Jerry Lillard, the first State Supervisor of Agricultural Education.

1926 – A Statewide organization for vocational agriculture students was formed called “Federation of California Junior Aggies.”

1926 – The American Royal Livestock Show invites vocational agriculture students to participate in National Livestock Judging Contests in Kansas City, Missouri.

1928 (October 26) – Meeting was called to form the California Association of Future Farmers of America. The meeting was held at the Hotel Claremont in Oakland. Arthur Ketterlin, Santa Rosa, was appointed Acting State President until a state convention could be held.

1928 (April 30-May 5) – Julian A. McPhee, State Supervisor in California, was a member of the committee that met in Denver, Colorado to develop a National Organization.

1928 (November 20) – The National Future Farmers of America was formed. 

1929 (September 5) – First State Convention for California was held at the State Fair in Sacramento. Lowell Edington, from Napa, was the first elected State President of the California Association of Future Farmers of America.

1929 (December 7) – Second State Convention was held at the Great Western Livestock Show in Los Angeles.

1931 – California Agriculture Teachers held their summer conference at Cal Poly.

1932 – Executive Secretary (Assistant State FFA Advisor) position was started.

1933 (September) – Last time the State Convention was held in Sacramento – until 2022.

1934 – FFA held its convention at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.

1943 – State Convention held in Fresno due to World War II.

1965 – State FFA headquarters relocated from Cal Poly to Sacramento and the California Department of Education.

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