Created on Wednesday, 01 February 2017 15:36
Written by Wes Crawford
FIND OUT ABOUT THE IMPACT OF OREGON AG ED AND FFA:
The Oregon Agriculture Teachers Association (OATA) has been working with state lawmakers to support FFA and agricultural education and FFA in Oregon. We currently have two bills (same language) submitted:
Sponsored by Sens GIROD, JOHNSON, ROBLAN; BEYER, HANSELL, OLSEN, PROZANSKI
Sponsored by Reps BARRETO; BARKER, BOONE, GILLIAM, GOMBERG, KENNEMER, Susan MCLAIN, OLSON, WITT
What's Going to Happen
Both bills will go through hearings in their respective Education Committees. From there, the goal is that they are forwarded to Ways & Means.
What's Do We Need?
We need YOU! We need your voice to reach Salem. You can do this with letters (scanned and sent - letterhead speaks volumes), emails, or phone calls to your legislative representatives from your home area and those on the committees.
If you'd like additional talking points, see www.ovata.org
for some excellent points of information on how Ag Education and FFA contributes to student success in CTE, STEM, college credit participation, economic impact, and graduation.
When Should This Happen?
You can reach out to the House Education Committee now
! Their hearing is February 6th - reaching out ahead of time is key. Again, contact them individually - not a mass email. You can find the contacts for the committee here
. You can also show up in person for the hearing and submit written testimony.
You can reach out to YOUR representative/senator anytime in the month of February - we will want to make consistent contacts and remind them of these bills all spring.
You can reach out to the Senate Education committee
this month as well - you can find them here.
The hearing within the Senate committee has not been scheduled yet. We will let you know when it is.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do you expect to pay for financial support for the FFA Association when the state is facing a $1.8 billion budget shortfall
A: Until 2011, the FFA Association was part of the state budget. A crippling recession saw smaller and smaller allocations, until it was time for FFA to seek other support. Since then, the state of Oregon's general fund expenditures have risen 40%. It is time for our state to invest again in this valuable program, especially when the cost is so small in this year of record revenue. It isn't a matter of funding so much as a matter of priorities.
Q: How will this impact local ag programs and FFA chapters?
A: A great deal of the requested funding will directly benefit local students. Every Ag Education student will automatically be an FFA member, with no financial barrier of dues. As well, direct chapter benefits will allow programs to participate in expanded opportunities of leadership conferences, conventions, and competitions. Right now, much of the burden of these activities is placed on our students and teachers.
Q: The Oregon FFA Association is currently privately funded. What will happen to that support?
A: We have continued to have our statewide FFA programs because of our invaluable, committed industry supporters through the FFA Foundation. The Foundation has been focused on keeping the Association going, and surviving. However, we cannot grow past our current point and serve more students without greater investment. This is the only way to continue to grow and serve more students at a time when CTE and CTSOs are invaluable in helping our schools serve these students and our industries. We know that we will continue to see our community and business partners support our local and state programs, enhancing and adding to this investment by the state of Oregon.