CA FFA Treasurer Reese Gonsalves Promotes Careers in Ag


FFA Treasurer Instills Confidence to Pursue Agriculture


By Tim Hammerich with the Ag Information Network of the West

Reese Gonsalves was elected state FFA Treasurer at their virtual convention in April. She is a 4th generation family farmer and 3rd generation Modesto FFA member. Through her experience she found a love for the marketing and communications side of the ag industry.

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve helped more with my family’s sale, kind of in the media side of things. So we have a bull sale every year and our sale is all online, said Gonsalves. We record videos and take pictures of the bulls, and then have it in a catalog and stuff. So I’ve helped a little bit more with that. I really like helping photograph the bulls and doing the sale management as well. So it’s kind of shifted as I’ve gotten older, which has been really cool because I found that my passion is actually more with the media and meeting with customers side of the production.”

Gonsalves said the FFA has given her confidence, and she hopes to spend this state officer year instilling a level of confidence in others.

“If I can help one member, and help them get the confidence to be able to help other people, I think that that would be amazing and to be a really great chain reaction of members helping other members,” said Gonsalves.

Her FFA experiences have inspired her to pursue degrees in Agricultural Communications and Agribusiness. She will attend Oklahoma State University after her year of service to the organization.

2020-06-06T12:45:44-07:00June 8th, 2020|

Thanks to All Who Contributed to FFA Blue Jacket Campaign

FFA Blue Jacket Big Goal Hit!

Thank you for joining the California FFA Foundation and Blue Diamond Growers on Giving Tuesday.

I am ecstatic to share, that we not only achieved our goal of 750 jackets, but we raised enough for 890 FFA jackets. That’s the equivalent of $66,750! 

Your support since 2016, has allowed for more than 2,535 FFA members to have a jacket of their very own. Thank you for joining the California FFA Foundation and Blue Diamond Growers in providing our members with the opportunity to own the FFA’s most recognized symbol, a blue corduroy jacket with their name stitched in Corn Gold. Thank you for gifting them with the experience to make their jacket reflective of the opportunities they will pursue as an FFA member.

Thank you for investing in the future of agriculture!

Katie Otto,

California FFA Foundation

2019-12-04T17:50:06-08:00December 4th, 2019|

Please Support California FFA Student’s Jacket Campaign


Blue Jacket Campaign to Help Many FFA Students

More than 46,000 California FFA members, or one out of every two students from the FFA chapter in your community cannot afford the prominent blue corduroy jacket. A contribution from you would also help fund crucial leadership events they will attend.

Future Farmers of America is a perfect way to teach our youth business, speaking, and technical skills. In addition, the value of hard work and entrepreneurship that are the building blocks of our country’s prosperity.FFA

FFA was a great way for FFA Students and millions of others to build strong connections, lifelong friendships, and a business network.

FFA is an ever-growing vocational agriculture organization that has over 92,000 members in California. The support we provide to our youth will provide them great opportunities to grow and succeed.

As industry leaders it is our responsibility to contribute and build a foundation for future generations.

Your contribution is critical in changing the outcome of Americas youth. Please support the FFA Foundation Board in backing our students. The cost of a jacket, tie or scarf is $75. Blue Diamond will match every jacket purchased before December 3rd 2019. If individual can purchase 150 jackets by December 3, 300 members will receive a new FFA jacket. Thanks Blue Diamond!

To donate, please go hear.
2019-11-29T18:07:11-08:00December 2nd, 2019|

California Ag Plate Funding Set


The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is currently accepting proposals for the 2019 California Agriculture Special Interest License Plate (CalAgPlate) grant program. This program provides an estimated $250,000 in grant funding to promote agricultural education and leadership activities for students at the K-12, post-secondary, and adult education levels. Proceeds generated through the sales of specialized, agriculture-themed license plates through the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) have made this opportunity available.

“We are very proud of this program and this marks its sixth year of providing agricultural education opportunities,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “The CalAgPlate Program raises awareness about our rich agricultural production, as well as the stewardship practices of California’s farmers and ranchers in bringing these products to our tables.”

Purchasing a CalAgPlate funds educational opportunities statewide that include agricultural workshops, farm tours, and the state Future Farmers of America (FFA) Leadership Conference. The CalAgPlate program has funded more than $1.2 million in youth educational activities since the program’s inception.

Funding is available on a competitive basis for eligible agricultural education programs as well as government agencies and non-profit organizations that administer agricultural education programs. The application deadline is October 7, 2019.

For further information and grant application materials, please visit  

You can help support agricultural education and the CalAgPlate program by purchasing a special interest license plate at your local DMV office or online today.

2019-09-11T17:53:49-07:00September 13th, 2019|

FFA Student Anna Kelly Experimenting with Garlic Eggs

Anna Kelly Feeds Her Chickens Garlic to Flavor Their Eggs with Garlic

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

It’s a very interesting concept, garlic eggs. Flavoring freshly-laid eggs with garlic. How to do it is very simple, according to Anna Kelly with the West Sacramento FFA at River City High School, who is working with a Blue Ameraucana chicken. She had the idea of replicating what your grandparents may have done. They just fed their laying hens some garlic.

Blue Ameraucana Chicken

They wanted to try to change their chickens’ diets cause their chickens were not eating much

And low and behold, the eggs started tasting as if they were seasoned with garlic.

Kelly got the idea of feeding her chicken garlic as a research project.

“I took one garlic clove, and I fed it to my chicken, whose name is Monster, and she loved it,” said Kelly. “And every time when I gave her daily garlic, she would meet me up at her bedding, and it was so cute.”

She found that her chicken wanted the garlic, and sure enough, the eggs had a garlic taste. She asked her culinary arts teacher, Cheryle Sutton to see if she could cook one of her chicken’s garlic eggs. The teacher said okay.

“I cut it up, and I asked several of my teachers to try it,” Kelly said. “And it was amazing; the teachers said it tasted like an actual garlic egg. No salt and pepper, no other additional seasonings.”

“What I’m hoping is to grow my project more. I am incubating more chickens, and I’m going to put them on the same diet. I want to test different varieties of chickens to see which one’s eggs taste more like garlic eggs,” Kelly explained.

Eventually, she may grow the project into a wholesale operation supplying grocery stores with garlic-tasting eggs.

To hear a podcast with Anna Kelly on her garlic eggs experiment, click here.

2021-05-12T11:17:08-07:00May 3rd, 2019|

CA FFA Leadership Conference April 24-28

91st FFA Annual Conference is in Anaheim

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

The FFA is a leadership and career development organization found in many California high schools. It represents more than 91,000 members from 320 chapters across the state.

About 7,000 of those FFA students will converge on Anaheim from April 24 to 26 for the 91st Annual Conference.

“There’s going to be some public speaking contests, and the students will participate in workshops by the agricultural colleges and universities throughout the state,” said Matt Patton, Executive Director of California FFA. “They’re also going to conduct the business of the FFA association. It is a true student-run organization.”

All 320 chapters from California will send two delegates to do the organization’s business. There are a couple of items that they’re going to debate on and vote on what will be a change in the bylaws of the FFA. Additionally, they are going to elect their new state officers that will represent the state of California for the upcoming year.

Patton noted the diversity of the California FFA.

“Of the more than 91,000 members, 48 percent are female, and 51 percent are male. Hispanic and Latino members represent 41 percent, 43 percent are Caucasian, with three percent African American. We are very diverse in a large demographic of areas.”

For more information on the upcoming convention:

2019-04-12T16:46:45-07:00April 12th, 2019|

#GiveACrop Campaign Helps Consumers Understand Crop Protection

#GiveACrop: Simple Message About Crop Protection Tools

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

Sarah Macedo is the communications manager for CropLife America, a trade association that assists and advocates for their members, based in Washington D.C. They are the manufacturers, formulators, and distributors that manufacture organic and non-organic pesticides,

Macedo explained the #GiveACrop campaign, which puts a positive message for the need for crop protection products in agriculture.

“Go to, take a look at those memes along with myths and facts. We just want to talk about things in a realistic person-to-person way and not get too into this science, but just kind of talk about why pesticides are necessary,” Macedo said.

“Regarding the Give a Crop videos, we have heard from both farmer friends, adversaries, and consumers. We had a lot of the FFA kids who absolutely love them, which is great since that is our target audience; we do know that they are sharing that with their friends who are in the on-ag space,” she noted.

We don’t have a lot of money behind it, so we have been promoting it on social media, and we’ve gotten great pickup even from folks who normally aren’t the friendliest in the ag space. They’ll watch one, and they’ll have posted and saying, ‘we may not necessarily agree, but these are funny and to the point,’” Macedo explained

Again, Crop Life America is a trade association representing the manufacturers, formulators, and distributors of organic and non-organic pesticides.

“We include government affairs, science and regulatory communications experts, and those from the legal profession who help our members, and our members And we advocate on their behalf to make sure that no regulations are going unchecked, that everything is based on sound science and getting the information out about the benefits of pesticides and why they’re used and about American farming in general,” Macedo said.

2021-05-12T11:05:07-07:00December 17th, 2018|

CDFA Supports Ag Education

CDFA Awards more than $250,000 to support Ag Education

Today, the California Department of Food and Agriculture has awarded $257,000 to four organizations for projects that enhance agricultural education and leadership opportunities for students, teachers and youth under the 2016 California Special Interest Plate (CalAgPlate) grant program.

“The CalAgPlate program helps to support agricultural education and leadership opportunities,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Every purchase and renewal of a CalAgPlate provides funding for activities that enrich the lives of students through exposure to farming and ranching across the state.”

Funded projects include school farm tours with the Dairy Council of California; ‘LearnAboutAg’ assemblies at elementary schools hosted by California Foundation for Ag in the Classroom; an agricultural leadership program in Monterey County for community leaders and professions; and support for California Future Farmers of America’s (FFA) leadership and development programs. Each of these projects provides educational and leadership opportunities connected to the agricultural sector.

The CalAgPlate program is funded with proceeds generated through the sale of specialized, agriculture-themed license plates through the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

CalAgPlate project abstracts are available online at

Help to support agricultural education and the CalAgPlate program by purchasing a special interest license plate at your local DMV office or online today.

2017-05-15T21:49:00-07:00January 4th, 2017|

FFA Jackets Giving Tuesday Campaign

FFA Jackets Needed for Members

By Laurie Greene, Associate Editor

We have Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the newest opportunity, #GivingTuesday—a global day of giving that has grown into a movement uniting people around the world on November 29th, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

There’s a big #GivingTuesday campaign for the California FFA to purchase 100 of those iconic blue FFA jackets for members in need.


FFA Members explore a diverse range of opportunities in agriculture

Katie Otto, development director of the California FFA Foundation said, “We have approximately 84,000 members in California, and 324 different chapters. Our members say having a jacket makes them feel like they are a part of something,” she said.

“It’s something that they hold on to. It makes them feel unified in what they’re doing. ‘Not to mention, a lot of our students wear jackets to field days,” Otto noted.

“They wear them at their county fair when they show, at chapter meetings and conferences. The list goes on and on in terms of opportunities where they wear their jackets.”

Each $65 raised will purchase a jacket along with an FFA tie for young men and a scarf for young women. 

Black Friday and Cyber Tuesday are all about getting things; #GivingTuesday is set aside for giving. Of course you do not have to wait for #GivingTuesday for the FFA campaign. You can donate anytime, now and even beyond Nov. 29.

How can you donate to the FFA #GivingTuesday campaign? Go to

Credit cards and Pay Pal accounts are accepted.

2016-11-10T11:09:44-08:00November 8th, 2016|

FFA Student is Great Reporter

Hughson FFA Student Thrives on Agriculture


By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director


California FFA Association, a high school youth leadership and career development organization, is very dynamic in the state. FFA chapters are located throughout the state’s agricultural areas. We had a conversation with Michelle Borges, a sophomore at Hughson High School. She is an active member of the Hughson FFA and serves as the 2016-17 FFA Chapter reporter.California FFA student

“My job is publicizing the FFA to everyone in the community. I write articles to the local newspapers. I’m in charge of the social media for Hughson FFA. Basically any radio broadcast, television broadcast, anything like that to get the word out about FFA,” Borges said.

Borges was also active in the 4-H starting at age five. She raised and sold goats, and she is devoted to California agriculture to this day. “One of the reasons why I love agriculture is because both my parents work in the agriculture industry. Both my brothers were super involved in the FFA, so I was kind of born into it,” she said.

Borges noted that while her family does not farm, they are involved in agricultural education. “My dad is the Dean of Agriculture at Modesto Junior College, and my mom used to be an agriculture teacher in high school, but now she teaches junior high,” she said.

While still in high school, Borges wants to continue pursuing her passion for agriculture. “When I grow up, I want to be an animal nutritionist. I’m really interested in nutrition for animals and I have also raised goats. . . ‘Seeing them grow up and then selling them. That whole project; it is really interesting to me. Also, with FFA, there’s a lot of public speaking competitions and I really enjoy public speaking in front of a crowd,” she said.

To hone her skills for that animal nutrition career, Borges plans to go to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, after she graduates from high school.

2021-05-12T11:17:11-07:00October 12th, 2016|
Go to Top