Central Coast students were among thousands of California high school students, staff, teachers, parents and others who rallied in Sacramento as part of Ag Day 2014, and in protest over Governor Brown's proposal to cut millions of dollars in funding for the Agriculture Education Incentive Grant in the upcoming state budget.
The AEIG supports agriculture-related programs in California schools like Future Farmers of America or FFA.
"If this grant is lost our numbers will go down as well as chapters will be lost", says Santa Maria High School student and FFA President Savannah Yerena.
Santa Maria High School FFA students were among those who traveled to Sacramento to protest.
"Great leaders don't do great things, great leaders help others do great things" says SMHS student and FFA member Ulises Cruz, "I correlate that to the Governor's Ag Incentive Grant, which helps the activities we do, not only academic but they really break it down to life skills."
"This program isn't forced on us", says SMHS student and FFA member Griselda Tadeo, "but if you realize everybody is excited to do the program, its not something we are being forced to do, its something we like to do."
Thousands of Central Coast FFA students will be impacted by the proposed AEIG cut.
"I understand the Governor's new proposal is for local control of funding but its important we keep it separated so it continues to be an incentive to keep the quality programs that California has produced such as in Santa Maria", says SMHS FFA Advisor Shannon Powell.
The Governor's final budget must be approved by the state legislature and signed into law by June.