The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has announced the 2020 California Special Interest License Plate (CalAgPlate) grant program. CFDA has awarded a total of $230,981 to the CalAgPlate grant recipients to help increase agricultural education and outreach. Funding for the program is provided by the purchase of special interest license plates from the Department of Motor Vehicles.
“Over the last seven years the CalAgPlate program has supported more than $1.4 million in funding for agricultural education,” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross said in a press release. “It continues to be a great program that connects and educates school children through activities like ag-focused field trips and school gardens, while also supporting leadership training and career development opportunities.”
The California Association of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) has been awarded $197,458 to support program development. CalAgPlate grant funding will be used to bolster program development and increase student access to a variety of FFA opportunities. The Madera District Fair also received $9,237 for the construction of a Digital Ag Studio. Once built, the studio will provide digital content to help promote awareness of agriculture. California Farmland Trust has been awarded $6,000 for a project to provide elementary educators with classroom resources kits and training. The curriculum and activities will highlight the importance of protecting farmland.
Other CalAgPlate grant recipients include the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom (CFAITC), which received $8,556. CFAITC will use the funding support to develop digital lessons and activities for educators and community-based organizations. Topics to be covered in the educational activities include careers in agriculture, plant nutrients, and the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables. The Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center was awarded $9,730 for the development of a job readiness program. The project is designed to encourage high school students to be more engaged with civic activity and generate interest in becoming food system leaders.