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Sacramento, CA – Brian Kavanagh of Temecula was elected to the position of California State Treasurer for the State Future Farmers of America (FFA) educational program. The FFA State Leadership Conference, which took place this week in the state's capital, saw 5,000 students collaborate, compete and lay out initiatives for local and state agricultural educational programs.

"As the State Treasurer, I have the privilege of connecting with political leaders and FFA chapters throughout California to listen to their agricultural and educational needs. The team will then take the information that we learn and apply it to initiatives that we will collaborate on with the Department of Education and the Department of Agriculture," said Kavanagh, who was the Regional President before being elected as the State Treasurer.

The elected team of six, who are from various schools throughout the state, represent more than 95,000 FFA students in California. "FFA benefits students in various ways. The program teaches entrepreneurship, budgeting, marketing, public speaking, networking and communication skills. In addition, students participate in competitions, create businesses and have the opportunity to represent their school in state and national conventions such as the State Leadership Conference," said Nicolina Alves, the St. Jeanne de Lestonnac School FFA Advisor and past FFA State President.

St. Jeanne created their FFA chapter four years ago with the support of parents, staff and students who realized the need for an agricultural science program in the Temecula Valley. Saint Jeanne's is the only private school in the Temecula Valley with an FFA program and one of only six Catholic schools in the nation to offer the program. With significant student participation, the Saint Jeanne's FFA chapter has turned into a nationally recognized program.

"There is a significant need for agricultural programs in both public and private schools, especially in the Temecula Valley, where the agriculture industry is prominent. St. Jeanne incorporates FFA into the curriculum because we want our students to become leaders at the local, state and national levels. The FFA offers the skills to become these future change-makers," said Alves.

According to the latest statistics published by Riverside County, agriculture represented $4.16 billion for the local economy.

"I'm incredibly thankful to be elected as the FFA State Treasurer. I take the responsibility seriously and will ensure that the student's voices will be heard and taken into account when creating and finetuning agricultural programs in California," said Kavanagh.

St. Jeanne de Lestonnac School encourages students to participate in the FFA program throughout their middle and high school education. The school offers agricultural science, leadership and entrepreneurial classes in conjunction with the FFA program. With St. Jeanne's new high school building opening next year, the opportunity for future leaders will become that much more available.  For more information please visit: www.sjdls.com.