skip to main content
Pioneer Valley FFA Senior Receives State Recognition back button

Proving a small urban farmer can make a difference, PVHS FFA senior Yadira Barrera now holds the state title in Specialty Crop Production.

Her crops were five varieties of Indian corn and eight varieties of gourds. They are rare to find available even at farmer’s markets.

Barrera’s inspiration for starting a specialty crop business stemmed from a lack of Indian corn suppliers in her local community, and her willingness to reconnect her deeply rooted agricultural traditions. Yadira also wanted to integrate the three pillars of sustainability to production agriculture—people, planet, and profit.

Yadira states, “With sustainability at the forefront of my values, I wanted to apply the concepts learned in my agriculture classes and prove that small, urban farmers can make a difference in the community and the agriculture industry as a whole.”

This Panther learned the ropes of sustainable agriculture production and developed a production plan from the ground up. She became proficient in land preparation, efficient irrigation management, seed propagation, crop management, and sales and marketing with her specialty crops. The skills gained through this experience have helped her determine her future plans as an Agriculture Ambassador.

After going through rigorous interviews with highly competitive individuals from across the state, she was recently announced as the state winner in Specialty Crop Production at the 90th Annual State FFA Conference in Anaheim, CA. She was awarded a scholarship, state winning plaque, and walked across the stage in front of more than 8,000 FFA members.

Barrera will be submitting her application to be judged for National recognition and hopes to compete at the National FFA conference in Indianapolis, IN, representing Pioneer Valley FFA and the California FFA Association.

Way to go Yadira!

NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY: The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District is committed to ensuring equal, fair, and meaningful access to employment and education services. The SMJUHSD does not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis and/or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, ethnic group identifications, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital, family or parental status, medical condition, military or veteran status, nationality, national origin, immigration status, political affiliation, pregnancy and related conditions, race, religion, retaliation, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by California state and federal nondiscrimination laws respectively. Not all bases of discrimination will apply to both education services and employment. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, immediately contact the District’s Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer Mr. Kevin R. Platt at 2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455, (805) 922-4573 or You may request a copy of SMJUHSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures, Non-Discrimination Policies, Sexual Harassment Policies or click here.