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Ripon High lands $22K ag grant
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Lance Morrow wasn’t sure that the Agricultural Career Technical Education Incentive Grant would be available this year.

The Ripon High principal noted at Monday’s Ripon Unified School Board meeting that the matching fund grant wasn’t on Gov. Jerry Brown’s initial budget proposal.

“This is something that comes around every year,” Morrow added.

Fortunately, the Ag Incentive Grant is back. With it, the RHS Ag Program will be able to afford some of the extras for the new school year such as brand new laptop and desktop computers along with a copy machine.

“This grant will provide an additional $22,912 to our Ag Department to ensure that we will be able to continue to offer a high quality program to the students of RHS,” said Morrow.

The matching funds will come from money already allocated to the Ag program, including the Vocational Educational Act, Regional Occupational Education and the Clinton School Farm, to name a few.

“Last year, we were able to match the funds almost evenly,” Morrow said.

This was the second straight year that the Ag Ed Incentive Grant escaped the chopping block.

It took groups such as the California Agricultural Teachers’ Association, which represents over 700 Ag educators from throughout the state, to step up and lobby against its elimination from the state budget.

They argued that Ag program – included is Future Farmers of America – send more students to colleges and training institutions, where they graduate with degrees in large numbers and in shorter time frames compared to that of general academic programs.

In addition, this grant currently supports Ag programs and FFA activities in over 300 high schools statewide not to mention over 74,000 students.