SANTA MARIA, Calif. – Pioneer Valley High School in Santa Maria is recognizing outstanding achievement by students in the school's Future Farmers of America.
One of the young men making a name for themselves is Marc Cabeliza. He's the current California FFA president and a recent graduate at Pioneer Valley High School.
He's now a finalist in the area of service learning in the national FFA Association.
FFA promotes agricultural education in local schools, whether it be raising livestock or learning how to plant and grow crops in the fields.
Cabeliza was part of an FFA team at Pioneer Valley and developed The Patch Santa Maria at Las Flores Ranch Park.
"I know the patch wasn't just my project, it was a group of students and a group of individuals who wanted to make a difference in the Santa Maria community," he said. "It's great to see it getting recognized at the national level and I think that's why I'm so excited, I'm not feeling nervous."
Pioneer Valley High alum Adela Garcia is also a national FFA finalist in the of area of vegetable production.
She's been actively involved in her family's farm business.
Both national finalists say they hope their success will inspire younger students to get involved in their school FFA programs.
"We might have all different backgrounds, different circumstances, but once you put on the blue corduroy jacket you feel like you're one big part of the family," Cabeliza said. "I think that's why FFA is so successful in making students feel like they belong and how they they're able to compete at national levels and to make sure they are successful in life."