Lemoore FFA students lend voices to fight to restore ag incentive grant

Assemblymember Rudy Salas
Assemblymember Rudy Salas

Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) today rallied over a thousand Future Farmers of America (FFA) students in Sacramento at a California Ag Day press event to call attention to cuts to the Agriculture Education Incentive Grant Program. Included in the fight to restore the FFA grant program were a number of Lemoore High School members.

“Tell your representatives and tell the Governor that the National blue and corn gold need their support,” said Assemblymember Salas. “Agriculture Education Programs - like FFA - grow more than crops, they grow Californians who lead and feed the nation.”

Mr. Salas urged passage of his Assembly Bill (AB) 2033 that seeks to restore funding to the Ag program. In the Governor’s most recent budget, the funding as a stand-alone Ag Incentive Grant was removed.

In addition to AB 2033, Salas spearheaded a bipartisan group of 85 legislators in a letter to Governor Brown requesting a restoration of funding. The Assemblymember further led a letter-writing campaign calling on the public to write to the Governor and share personal stories of the importance of these programs.

“The FFA program has helped me to expand and grow personally,” said Sarah Moreno, a four-year FFA participant from Lemoore High School. “It has given me confidence to get more involved and participate socially where it once was difficult for me. Through the many presentations and support of Guide Dogs for the Blind and FFA, I have learned leadership skills that have given me an ‘I can’ attitude.”

“I have gained so much from this experience, and I have become a better person through the program,” said Sara Rodriguez, whose experience with FFA has inspired her to pursue a major in Communicative Disorders after graduating from high school. “Life is not about being easy, but doing something meaningful. Changing lives and having my own life changed: that’s the true meaning of raising Guide Dogs.”

Salas also expects to welcome additional students from around the state to the Capitol to plead their case on April 1, as the Assembly Budget winds its way through the capitol.

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