Gov. Jerry Brown proposed to eliminate funding for the Agricultural Education Incentive Grant in his 2014-15 state budget released last week — much to the dismay of the California Agricultural Teachers’ Association.
“We are extremely disappointed that Gov. Brown has proposed eliminating Ag Education funding in California, the leading agricultural-producing state in the nation,” said Jim Aschwanden, the association’s executive director.
The grant supports high quality agricultural education standards in public schools. It is designed to provide matching funds for districts who commit to meeting state-approved program standards in ag education, including classroom instruction, supervised agricultural experience projects, and leadership training through the Future Farmers of America (FFA) student organization.
“These programs are vital if we expect to attract bright, talented, and innovative students to help meet the many challenges facing both agriculture and the state of California over the next several decades,” Aschwanden said. “The elimination of support for high quality, rigorous program standards sends a clear message to schools that agriculture and these programs are not important for the future of our state economy. We think this is a terrible mistake.” ...