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Two Santa Maria top graduating FFA Seniors, Mariana De Leon and Edgar Hernandez, stepped into the role of California State Legislators at the Sacramento Leadership Experience hosted by California FFA. (March 7-11, 2017)

De Leon and Hernandez were assigned a specific California district and spent the four days in Sacramento learning about government, issues in agriculture and ethics, water and natural resources, food and nutrition, and education. At the end of the week, they had the opportunity to conduct mock legislation they drafted during the conference on the chamber floor of the State Senate or Assembly.

De Leon stated: “This whole week has truly changed my life. The Sacramento Leadership Experience has opened my eyes to the importance of the legislative process while at the same time finding a compromise between agriculture and the government. It has been an inspiring and magnificent week where my love for history and politics has blossomed amid the beautiful scenery of the California Capital City. My favorite part of the whole process was being able to partake in the role of being a mock Senator where I learned how important it is to listen my district’s constituents and learn how to set aside my own personal beliefs. The conversations, memories and knowledge I learned this week will forever have a lasting impact on me.”

Hernandez said: “My time here at the Sacramento leadership experience has been absolutely informative and eventful! From learning more in depth about the legislative process to having the opportunity to introduce a bill that I am currently sponsoring, SLE has not failed to impress. My favorite part thus far without a doubt has been the humbling opportunity to meet and talk with assembly member Jordan Cunningham and Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson. Carrying out meaningful conversations with them and discovering more about their beliefs and where they stand with certain issues, has proven extremely beneficial!”

The pair also had the opportunity to meet with legislators representing the Santa Maria area including Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson and Assembly Member Jordan Cunningham.

Each year, only sixty FFA senior members, from California are selected to attend the Sacramento Leadership Experience, a California FFA premier capstone conference.

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