Thursday, January 16, 2014

Jerry Brown needs to hug a farmer

Dear Governor Jerry Brown, (this is for you Ag. Instructors)

Just so we don’t get this relationship off on the wrong foot, I want you to know exactly where I’m coming from….Agriculture is the life blood of California. In a region where in 2 hours we can either be surfing some of the best waves in the world or skiing the greatest powder on the planet agriculture still dominates in a state that currently ranks as the 8th largest economy in the world. Unlike most states ours can claim more than cotton, wheat, corn and soybeans as the basis of our agriculture commodities. California is home to over 400 commodities and grows half of the nation’s fruits, nuts and vegetables along with being the 2nd largest rice producer in the nation. If it wasn’t for the farmers and the vast number of people and businesses that are involved in getting food from the fields of California to the grocery stores and eventually your kitchen table the American diet would be a pretty boring endeavor. The rest of the nation has California agriculture to thank for keeping them supplied with the most well rounded diet on the planet year round. Governor Brown the reasons I can go on and on about the benefits of agriculture not only to the state but to world is I was fortunate enough to be born into it and have continued to carry the passion I have for it through life as my chosen career choice. Unfortunately the majority of children in California do not have the same privilege that I was able to experience and thus have no idea how important agriculture is to this state. What is sad is that it use to be only kids from urban areas that thought there food came from grocery stores but now the adage has crept into what were rural areas that have morphed into bedroom communities for the larger cities across the state. As schools have continued to cut agricultural education programs due to budget constraints the gap grows greater on a student’s understanding of the vast and highly complex food system that is in place in their backyard. The current state education budget sits right around $48 billion dollars which puts the funding for agriculture education at a percentage lower than the chances of Kate Upton asking me for her hand in marriage. The $4.1 million dollar grant that Ag Education receives each year is a life line for programs across the state that struggle to survive and teach students something that every human has relied on since we left the hunter/gather phase of our existence thousands of years ago…Agriculture. Yes before this state brought us the Golden Gate Bridge, a left leaning political system and the Kardashian’s we have and will continue to bring food to your plate. California currently has around 2,100 high schools which include public, private and charter schools to go along with various continuation programs. Of those only 300 support an Ag Education program. The 7% placement rate is appalling. I’ll bet my next round on a Friday night that every one of those schools has a computer science program. You ask why I pose this question. We all use devices everyday and need to stay on the cutting edge of technology in todays fast pace world. Guess what else we use every day and is so important country’s wage wars over it and empires fall because of it?....Food!!! I think that is a pretty good reason for everyone in the state to be educated about what they eat and how it makes its way to their table. Governor Brown instead of giving this program a one year reprieve which equates to the death penalty for most programs I recommend that you take a lesson from the agricultural community and sharpen that pencil just a little bit more and find those extra precious dollars in the budget that can sustain these programs moving forward  and keep the teachers that put their hearts and souls into their profession at high schools across the California gainfully employed and teaching the future of this state that agriculture just wasn’t our past but is our present and will always be our future. If you’re looking for a farmer to hug Jerry, I’m waiting with open arms…   

Ps. Happy Thursday peeps and please write, call, email, text, social media, etc. Jerry Brown and let him know how much you support Ag. Education and that’s all you need to remember!

#ageducation #jerrybrown #california #empireliving

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