Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Supervisors have sent a letter to Governor Jerry Brown asking that he restore the Agricultural Education Incentive Grant Program.
The Governor has proposed taking the $4.1 million that goes to high school education programs, and moving it to a local control funding formula, so that districts can have more control over what the money is used for, be it ag education, or other areas. The Supervisors voted 5-0 to send a letter urging the Governor keep the funding solely for agricultural education. The money has been used locally to purchase equipment and amenities needed for Tuolumne County students to understand the agricultural industry. The Supervisors believe there could be too much temptation for districts across the state to phase out high school ag programs.
District Two Supervisor Randy Hanvelt said, “This makes a huge difference in the viability of the program, in my opinion.”
District One Supervisor Sherri Brennan added, “We know what the ag economy is in the state of California, and quite honestly, there are quite a lot of ag sector jobs where there is a desperate need for a workforce out there.”
Tuolumne County Ag Commissioner Vicki Helmar told the Supervisors that 249 students are currently enrolled in ag education programs in the county, which is about 15% of the high school population.