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October 2016
Congressman Costa Visit

Congressman Costa Visits Local Ag Program


United States House of Representative member Jim Costa (CA-16) visited the Atwater High School Agriculture program this past week. The program has been recognized throughout the state and nation as a model education program that focuses on academic success, personal growth, premier leadership, and career exploration. Congressman Costa took the initiative to visit the program, talk with the students while encouraging them complete their education endeavors. “Our future needs strong leadership,” said Congressman Costa, “I applaud all of you for being involved in the FFA and developing the skills necessary to be successful.”


Atwater High School is composed of nearly 80% low income and over 75% minority students. More than 95% of the 900+ agriculture students have zero agriculture background or experience. “We are unique in terms of what people’s perception is regarding students who choose to enroll (and remain) in an agriculture class each year,” says agriculture instructor Dave Gossman. “Agricultural education instills academic success, personal growth, and career exploration through a “3-circle” education model of classroom, leadership (FFA), and “hands-on” (skill-based) application outside of the classroom/school (SAE’s).”


Congressman Costa visited the Atwater High School Agriculture Government and Economics class and the 2016 California FFA State Champion Milk Quality and Dairy Foods team that will be heading to the national FFA Finals in Indianapolis, Indiana next week. The Milk Quality and dairy Foods team will also be visiting Washington DC and Congressman Costa’s staff has set up a VIP Capitol tour for the students during their visit. Students listened to the congressman’s words of encouragement while students shared their individual interests and asked questions.


“We appreciate our state and national political representatives taking the time to visit our school and take genuine interest in the students, their endeavors, and a successful education model that utilizes agriculture education as the vehicle of success,” said Atwater High School agriculture instructor Natalie Borba. “It was a very nice gesture on behalf of the congressman and one the students can make a connection with as the upcoming election takes center stage in our society.”

Audrey Esau
Atwater FFA Reporter