KING CITY — Future Farmers of America students at King City High School ranked third out of about 380 chapters in California in a 2020 Chapter of the Year standings shared by KCHS FFA adviser Jessica Souza on Oct. 9.

The rankings are announced yearly in October.

The placement took state level awards into account for the 2019-20 school year. King City ranked second in number of American degrees with 19, first in state degrees with 70, one state proficiency finalist in Agriculture Communications and one state star finalist this past year.

Souza said King City had the most state degrees in the state for the past five years. Degrees are awarded to students who make significant accomplishments within their supervised agricultural experiences. King City’s FFA has 702 members.

“I would credit our success to the students’ hard work and commitment to advancing their agriculture career technical skill by the vast hands-on opportunities of projects we offer,” Souza said. “It has become a tradition and culture for most of our ag students to try to obtain their state degree.”

King City has ranked in the top 20 programs for the past 10 years, Souza noted, with 2018 and 2020’s third-place ranking being the highest for the chapter so far.

“We are most proud of the fact we have stayed consistent on the list,” Souza said. “We watch chapters go on and off the list, but King City has stayed strong in the top 10 for many years. We have created a movement where students set goals to obtain FFA degrees and achievements in the organization.”

Students at KCHS who take ag courses all four years and receive their state degree are honored as an agriculture completer and wear an honor cord at graduation. Projects available at King City include working for an agriculture company, completing an agriculture science study, performing ag mechanics in fabrication or floral design and raising or breeding animals.

Looking ahead, KCHS is on campus-wide distance learning, which does have an impact on activities. Souza said students are being provided with material kits for hands-on technical classes, hosting online meetings for FFA and planning community events that can be done safely within health guidelines.

“We miss our students, but we will continue to provide job experience opportunities the best we can,” Souza said. “This is not an easy situation, but we will make it through even stronger. Our goal as always is to stay in the top 10 chapters in the state.”

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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