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Pioneer Valley Ag Dept. named ‘Outstanding Large Agriculture Program’ in CA

Santa Maria Joint Union High School District

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Santa Maria's Pioneer Valley High School is getting some national recognition.

The school's agriculture department was named the 'Outstanding Large Agriculture Program' in California.

The school was honored during the California Agriculture Teacher's Association Conference at Cal Poly in late June.

The school had previously been named the 'Outstanding Agricultural Program' for the California's South Coast Region, which stretches down the coast from San Jose to Los Angeles.

Pioneer Valley's Agriculture Department offers a variety of agriculture courses and allows students to earn industry standard certifications and college credit. Students are also able to get involved with the FFA through Supervised Agricultural Experience Projects, or SAE projects.

“We have students with small plant SAE projects, Ag Mechanics students build furniture, farm equipment, BBQ pits, and we have many students raise livestock. We are fortunate to have many students work in agriculture production as paid placement SAEs. In 2021, our students invested nearly 44,000 hours and a total asset value of over $900,000 in their SAE projects. Leadership is also a major component of the program. Each year we have numerous students attend leadership conferences, participate in speaking competitions, travel throughout the state to compete in agricultural judging competitions, and run for leadership positions at the chapter, sectional, regional, and state level. The success of the Pioneer Valley FFA leadership component is evident through the many accolades earned in 2021 alone; including a State Champion soils judging team, 2 sectional officers, 2 regional officers, 1 state officer, 2 state proficiency award winners, and 31 State Degree recipients. We continue to strive to be the best youth organization that we can provide for our community, and we look forward to continuing the successful traditions we have built for FFA and agriculture education on our campus,” said Marcie Guerra, FFA advisor and teacher, in a press release.

A school district spokesman says this is the first time the high school has received this national award.

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Lindsay Zuchelli

Lindsay Zuchelli is the Executive Producer at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Lindsay, click here.

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