Agricultural Education Master Calendar


15 National Applications Due (Honorary American Degree, Distinguished Service Citations, VIP Award, American Degree & American Star)

30 Agriculture Education Incentive Grant Applications Due


1 National Certifications/Applications Due (Agriscience Fair, National Chapter & National Proficiency Awards)

4 Independence Day

7-14 National Chapter Award Scoring and Finalist Selection

7-16 National Agriscience Fair Finalist Selection

14 National Convention Hotel Room Registration Opens

15 Greenhand Leadership Conference Registration Opens

18-22 State Officer Summit – Washington DC

25-28 Regional Officer Leadership Conference – Buellton 


2 National CDE Certifications Due

4-6 California Youth Agriculture Exposition – Tulare 

6-7 Southern Region SOLS

13-14 San Joaquin Region SOLC

20-21 Change Makers Summit (Virtual)

26-28 Superior Region COLC


6 Labor Day

7-9 State Staff Retreat – Paso Robles

11-12 South Coast Region SOLC – Atascadero

14 Sonoma Section Leadership Night

14-18 Central Region Section Leadership Nights

15 Solano/Alameda Section Leadership Night

17-18 Southern Region CATA Meeting – Costa Mesa

20 State FFA Executive Committee Meeting – Galt 

20 State FFA Advisory Committee Meeting – Galt

20 State FFA Adult Board Meeting – Galt

21 National Convention Delegate Training – Galt 

21-22 Central Region Section Leadership Nights

22 Humboldt/Del Norte Section Leadership Night

22 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Lemoore

22 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Colusa 

23 Mendo-Lake Section Leadership Night

23 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Lemoore

23 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Colusa

24 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Lemoore 

24 North Coast Region Road Show

25 North Coast Region Fall CATA Meeting – Fort Bragg

28 State Ag Ed Advisory Committee Meeting – Sacramento 


5 Greenhand Leadership Conference – El Capitan

5 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Lodi

5 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Bakersfield 

6 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Lodi

6 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Calipatria 

6 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Bakersfield 

7 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Lodi

7 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Heritage

7 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Bakersfield 

8 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Heritage 

8 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Lodi 

9-10 South Coast Region COLC

10 South Coast Region CATA Meeting – Hollister

11 Columbus Day

12 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Fresno 

13 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Paso Robles

13 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Fresno 

13 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Petaluma 

14 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Paso Robles

14 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Fresno 

14 Shasta College Field Day

15 Greenhand Leadership Conference – Paso Robles

16 Southern Region COLC – Indio 

24-26 NASAE Annual Meeting – Indianapolis, IN

27-30 National FFA Convention – Indianapolis, IN

31 Halloween


4-5 New Professional Institute – Fresno 

6 State Finals Cotton Judging – Fresno

11 Veteran’s Day

11-12 Superior Region Road Show

12 Superior Region CATA Meeting – Etna

19-20 Central Region CATA Meeting & Road Show 

19-20 San Joaquin Region CATA Meeting & Road Show

25 Thanksgiving Day

30-4 NAAE Conference – New Orleans


1 State Scholarship Applications Due

2-4 Mid-Winter Community College Meeting

13 Southern Region Road Show – Pomona 

13 South Coast Region Road Show – San Luis Obispo

25 Christmas Day


1 New Year’s Day

3-5 State Staff Meeting – Galt

6-7 Student Teacher Conclave – Modesto 

7-8 MFE/ALA – Sacramento

8 Porterville Citrus Contest – Porterville College

13-14 CATA Governing Board – Galt  

14 Applications Due (State Committee Chair, State Nominating Committee & State Officer)

14-15 MFE/ALA – Redding 

17 Martin Luther King Day

21-22 MFE/ALA – Monterey 1

22 Reedley College Winter Field Day & State Finals – Reedley 

23-24 MFE/ALA – Monterey 2 

24 State Degrees Due through AET

28-29 MFE/ALA – Ontario

31-1 Supervising Teacher Institute – Sacramento 


1 Applications Due (National Chapter, Website Award, Honorary State Degree, Distinguished Service, Star Administrator, Star Counselor, Star Supporting Staff, Star Reporter, Hall of Fame, Courtesy Corps, Press Corps & State Talent)

4 Central Region Speaking Finals – MJC 

5 Winter State Finals – Fresno 

8-10 World Ag Expo – Tulare 

11-12 MFE/ALA – Modesto

12 Chico State Field Day

12 Lincoln’s Birthday

12 Southern Region CATA/FFA Meetings – Cal Poly Pomona

14 Valentine’s Day

14-18 State Star Award Tour

15 State FFA Leadership Conference Registration Due

18 Region Proficiency Award Lists Finalized

18-19 MFE/ALA – Visalia 

20-21 MFE/ALA – Visalia 

21 President’s Day

21 State FFA Advisory Committee Meeting – Galt 

21 State FFA Executive Committee Meeting – Galt

21 State FFA Officer Candidate Experience 

21-25 State Proficiency Award Scoring

21-26 National FFA Week

22-25 Sacramento Leadership Experience – Sacramento 

25 State Agriscience Fair Research Papers/Applications Due

25 Central Region Parli Pro Finals – Columbia College

26 Central Region CATA/FFA Meetings – Sacramento

26 San Joaquin Region CATA/FFA Meetings – Tulare

27 North Coast Region State Degree Ceremony

28 North Coast Region Leadership Development Finals

28 North Coast Region CATA/ FFA Meeting – Humboldt

28 South Coast Region CATA Meeting – San Luis Obispo


1 State FFA Nominating Committee Meeting – Galt 

3 South Coast Region Spring FFA Meeting/LDE’s – King City

4 State Proficiency Award Finalists Announced

4-5 UC Davis Field Day & State Finals – Davis 

5 Merced College Ag Welding Contest

10 State Prepared Manuscripts & Job Interview Materials Due

12 Superior Region CATA Meeting – Chico 

12 Merced College Field Day

17 State Agriscience Fair Research Paper Results Announced

17 St. Patrick’s Day

19 MJC Field Day – Modesto 

24 Leadership Development Event Finals – Sacramento 

25 State Agriscience Display Boards Setup – Sacramento 

25-26 State Parli Pro Finals – Sacramento 

26 State Agriscience Fair Judging and Interviews – Sacramento 

26-29 State FFA Leadership Conference – Sacramento 

27 State Proficiency & Scholarship Interviews – Sacramento 

28 State Ag Ed Advisory Committee Meeting – Sacramento 

31 Cesar Chavez Day


2 CRC Field Day & State Finals – Elk Grove

2 Reedley College Field Day 

5 San Joaquin Region Section State Degree Banquet – TBD 

6 San Joaquin Region Section State Degree Banquet – TBD 

7 San Joaquin Region Section State Degree Banquet – TBD

7 Central Region State Degree & Award Ceremony – Sheldon (tentative)

9 Fresno State Field Day & State Finals

12 Central Region State Degree & Awards Ceremony – Turlock 

17 Easter Sunday

24 South Coast Region State Degree Banquet – Arroyo Grande

26 Central Region State Degree & Awards Ceremony – Delta College (tentative) 

28 Central Region State Degree & Awards Ceremony – Sheldon (tentative)


7 Cal Poly State Finals – San Luis Obispo

8 Mother’s Day

30 Memorial Day


1 National Delegate Applications Due

8-10 State Staff Meeting – Galt

11 Bob Heuvel Dedication & Celebration – Galt 

19 Father’s Day

19-23 CATA Summer Conference – San Luis Obispo20 State Ag Ed Advisory Committee Meeting – San Luis Obispo

Ag. Skills Survey: Skills Sought by Employers in the Agricultural Industry

By Dr. Sharon Freeman, Dr. Avery Culbertson, Dr. Steven Rocca, Dr. Rosco Vaughn, Cameron Standridge, Jasmine Flores, and Morgan Henson

Work ethic was rated as the most important skill for agriculture employees by employers. An Ag. Skills Survey was recently conducted to identify agriculture skills that employers are looking for today in the agricultural industry. This information was needed for the development of the Agricultural Career Readiness Skills Certificate Pathway for the 21st Century (ACRS21), which was designed to support soft skills and career readiness practices for agriculture students. This $1 million USDA Hispanic Serving Institution Grant was awarded to faculty members from California State University, Fresno and Texas A&M, Kingsville who are working together to create the transferrable pathway. The ACRS21 Certificate recognizes students’ experiential learning activities and awards them an industry-backed certificate as proof of their career readiness development. Examples of experiential learning include public speaking, leadership involvement, job shadowing, and supervised agriculture projects.  

The survey included 19 questions to determine general information about the employer, type of business, and their willingness to provide career development opportunities for students. To facilitate a peer-to-peer communication chain, members of the ACRS21 Ag. Industry Subcommittee, including agriculture industry representatives, USDA agencies, commodity groups, Farm Bureau staff, and educational leaders utilized their personal contact lists to introduce the survey to agricultural employers.  This word of mouth approach proved very effective in dispersing the survey.  Faculty members and students at Fresno State grouped the survey responses into different categories, identified by particular codes. Participants represented 117 different employers, which resulted in 2,106 individual responses to the survey. Table 1 includes the Overall Top 10 Skills and a breakdown by educational level for high school (HS), community college (2-Year), and university (4-Year) representing each level of the certificate pathway. Work ethic was included in the top three skills for HS, 2-Year, and 4-Year, making it the most valuable overall skill needed in today’s workforce. Communication, dependability, task oriented, and life-long learners were also skills rated in the top five overall. 

Figure 1 shows that upper-level positions need employees with additional agriculture industry knowledge and leadership skills, while lower-level employees need dependability, life-long learner, positive attitude, time management, and work ethic skills. Task oriented and written communication were the skills that ranked the highest for the mid-level positions.  In addition, several skills were more evenly required across all position levels such as, ambition, critical thinking, teamwork, and computer technology. The technical skill areas that employers identified the most often included computer technology skills (131), agriculture mechanics and machinery (109), and plant production (77). 

Figure 1 

Frequencies for Overall Top 15 Ag Skills per Educational Level 

Agricultural teachers can help their students develop soft skills and career readiness practices by encouraging them to open the ACRS21 Certificate Pathway in AET through the Application Manager. There is no charge, the requirements are built into normal FFA activities, and the ACRS21 Certificate is backed by employers in the agricultural industry. 

For information regarding the ACRS21 Certificate Pathway, please contact Dr. Sharon Freeman at, or refer to the following two websites: 

AET website – 

Fresno State website –

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

The Beginning of SAE’s: Rufus Stimson

By: Kayla Erath, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

My name is Kayla Erath and I student taught at Frontier High School spring 2021 semester. I am excited to join this agriculture education family. I have wanted to join this profession since I was a sophomore in high school. Our field has been around for over 100 years, and I love hearing about the history it took to get us to where we are today. Students and educators around the United States know of the Smiths-Hughes Act of 1917, the FFA absorption of the NFA in 1965, women integration in 1969, and having the first female African-American National FFA President in 2017. These are a few dates that we know by heart, but what led to the beginning of agricultural education? 

Let’s take a step back and look at the three-ring model, which is composed of classroom, FFA (leadership), and SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experience). Every student who is in an agriculture class has experienced all these three rings, and the best educators implement all three portions without belittling any of the others. Students are introduced to this model in every agriculture classroom and see each of the rings throughout their time in the classroom. The classroom portion is perhaps the easiest to see as we educators are teaching agriculture science, leadership, and production agriculture every day. Leadership is implemented through being an active participant in the FFA through officers, committees, competitive events, conferences, and many more activities which have evolved over the years. The last component is the SAE project where students either love or hate having to complete a hands-on project to get experience in agriculture. This component is one that I have always wondered about. How did the idea of an SAE project come to fruition? 

One of the trailblazers in our field was Rufus Stimson. One of his main contributions was to the SAE component of the three-ring model. Rufus Stimson was born in Massachusetts in February of 1868. He was born and raised on a farm. This impacted his career choice, because agriculture was a passion of his. He was an educated man who attended Colby College in Main, Harvard University, and Yale Divinity School. After his education, he was hired at the Connecticut Agricultural College where he worked his way up to being President Pro Tempore in October of 1901. He lasted in this position until 1908 when he became the director of the Smith Agricultural School in Massachusetts, which is still an operating high school today. In 1911, he became the state supervisor of agricultural education for Massachusetts. He worked in this job until he retired in 1938. After retirement, “Stimson received an appointment as a Research Specialist in Agricultural Education in the U.S. Office of Education for the purpose of writing a history of agricultural education” (Moore, 1988). 

His legacy can be seen in his “home project” method where during his time at the Smith Agricultural School in Massachusetts he implemented the idea of teaching agriculture in a high school classroom and challenging students to implement their findings at home. This “home project” method can be seen today as our organization’s Supervised Agricultural Experience project. This is one of the three rings of agricultural education, and without it, millions of past and present FFA members would not have been able to experience this hands-on portion of our model. Included in the 1917 Smith-Hughes Act was the requirement that agriculture students had to have farm practice.

This was directly based on the work that Rufus Stimson had implemented at the Smith Agricultural School. It is because of the work of Rufus Stimson that students across the United States are driven to work with their hands and create a home project. This project has led to thousands of job opportunities, and career passions being discovered. Without Mr. Stimson, our model of Agricultural Education may look very different today.

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

Job Posting: Assistant State FFA Advisor

The California Department of Education is currently seeking a talented individual to serve as the Assistant State FFA Advisor. The position is located in Sacramento. The filing deadline is July 26, 2021. The official job announcement can be found here and below.

Job Posting: Assistant State FFA Advisor

Under the general supervision of the Education Administrator I of the Agriculture Education & Family and Consumer Sciences Office, the Education Programs Consultant is responsible for coordinating the statewide program of activities related to the Future Farmers of America (FFA) career technical student organization. The consultant also assists school districts in meeting federal and state requirements for agriculture education. The consultant is responsible for developing and maintaining a statewide agricultural education/FFA public information system, and providing technical support to local programs. Duties include, but are not limited to the following:

Serve as Assistant State FFA Advisor. Provide training to State FFA Officers in leadership development skills, and supervise the activities of State FFA student officers. Evaluate the training and operational effectiveness of state officers. Develop and conduct the state FFA program of leadership. Oversee and develop the Leadership Consortium program, and train presenters. Evaluate leadership programs, and recommend improvements. Plan and supervise state participation in national FFA activities. Provide training to California student delegates on National FFA issues, and certify all applications for awards and degrees.

Collect and process reports regarding program and student enrollment data; work with support staff to maintain current files and records; develop and maintain a statewide agricultural education public information system, and communicate with local educational agencies.

Conduct workshops, seminars, and meetings to improve teacher performance; provide professional development for teachers integrating agriculture into the curriculum, and assist teacher preparation programs in an effort to provide high-quality teachers.

Provide technical assistance as needed to maintain and strengthen local programs, and promote the initiation of new programs, by providing materials for chartering and operating a local career technical student organization.

Maintain contact with business and industry groups in agriculture-related fields, and maintain liaison with post-secondary institutions and other agencies providing agricultural education.

You will find additional information about the job in the Duty Statement.

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

Agricultural Education A Sum Of Its Parts

By: Matt Patton, CATA Executive Director


Agricultural education in California is a complex and diverse coalition of entities working to better serve the students and teachers at its center. Below is a summarized breakdown of the primary groups that collectively drive agricultural education forward. Many other tertiary groups also contribute to the overall strength of agricultural education in California.  


The California Agricultural Teachers’ Association (CATA) is a professional non-profit organization, which has over 1,000 agricultural teachers from across the state. Members include educators from middle school, high school, community college, and university. Members can also include student teachers, associate members, and corporate members. Membership is voluntary, and so are dues to the organization. 

CATA was formed in 1920. The purpose of the organization is to promote and improve the teaching of agriculture in California and foster the welfare of those engaged in agricultural education. 

In the early 1980s, CATA members recognized the need to improve their voice in state policies affecting agricultural education. As a result, members voted to increase the level of dues paid to the organization, create the position of Executive Director, and establish a State CATA Office adjacent to the State Capitol in Sacramento. Shortly after the increase in dues, CATA expanded to include the role of an Executive Assistant. Current CATA employees include Executive Director (Matt Patton), Executive Assistant (Kerry Stockton), and two Administrative Assistants (Jennifer Van Conett/ Cari Brown).  

CATA is governed by the Executive Committee that is composed of individuals elected by the membership. 


The Association Adult Board was organized and created in 1997 to set fiscal policy and oversee the fiscal operations of the California Association, Future Farmers of America student organization, working in conjunction with the State FFA Advisor. The Association Adult Board employs a Financial Services Director (Maria Maberto), who manages the financial activity of the California FFA Association and reports directly to the Association Adult Board. The Association Adult Board annually approves the operating budget of the California Association FFA and the operating budgets for each of the respective regions.


The California Association FFA is an American 501(c)(3) youth organization, specifically a career and technical student organization, based on middle and high school classes that support agricultural education. The California Association FFA is a student-run organization chartered on November 20, 1928. Currently, the organization is composed of over 93,000 students from 340 chapters across the state. Chapters are chartered at public, private, charter, and middle schools. The leadership of the Association is based on a State, Regional, Sectional, and Chapter elected officer model. The California Association FFA conducts the business of the organization and has four employees. Current employees include the Financial Services Director (Maria Maberto), Leadership Coordinator (Hannah Garrett), Membership Services (Trisha Chapman), and two Administrative Assistants (Jennifer Van Conett/Cari Brown).  

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