The Santa Maria High School Agricultural Education Program earned top statewide recognition from California Agricultural Teachers' Association.
The school's program was selected as the 2021 CATA Outstanding Agricultural Education Program, setting it apart from the other 339 agriculture education programs in California.
During the past school year, Santa Maria High School's program had 10 agriculture teachers who taught 1,087 students. Together, the students were enrolled in 49 agriculture classes.
Five of the courses allow students to earn credit at Allan Hancock College.
The school offers students five agriculture pathways: Agriscience, Ornamental Horticulture, Agriculture Mechanics, Animal Science and Agribusiness. The school says each pathway makes connections to local agriculture industries.
There are 340 agriculture education programs across California. Santa Maria High School's program is the largest in the state.
Their program received the honor for classroom instruction, experimental learning, the FFA student organization and leadership development, community partnership and the teachers' professional development.