Cashmere FFA national champions, Goehner says a great example of the importance of CTE funding and legislative support

Rep. Keith Goehner recently noticed his calendar had an upcoming meeting request with Career and Technical Education (CTE) representatives to discuss funding needs. Not long after, he heard the news the Cashmere High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) Environmental Natural Resources team won the national championship at the FFA Convention in Indianapolis. The FFA program accompanies the CTE pathway of agricultural education.

“There is no better argument for supporting our CTE programs when we see firsthand their success and the skills the students have learned. As a former teacher, I know four-year schools are not for all students. Some need to find their niche. This is a great example of that,” said Goehner, R-Dryden. “What these students were able to accomplish – a national championship – is truly special. Congratulations on a job well done! However, I want to ensure other students have that option in the future. Every year the CTE folks come to legislators to outline their funding needs. We need to ensure CTE funding is not on the chopping block every year.”

Rusty Finch, an Agriculture-Science teacher and FFA Advisor at Cashmere High School praised the students and thanked the school and community for their support, but also said legislative support is key.

“These kids did an outstanding job committing to the expectations and process of preparing for a national event. Our school administration and staff are super supportive. I received numerous congratulatory texts and emails immediately following the announcement of the results. I heard teachers and administrators were watching the live feeds of the awards ceremonies from Lucas Oil Stadium, not to mention the giant welcome home party when we returned. The kids notice this genuine support and appreciate it,” said Finch. “However, people need to understand how important the enhanced CTE funding is to the entire experience. It is paramount. Very few of these opportunities and eventual successes would be possible without it. From classroom consumables to industrial grade machinery to travel experiences, very little of this applicable learning happens without the CTE funding. It provides a diverse population of students with experiences and opportunities they never knew existed.”

The students brought home $6,600 in scholarships. Each team landed in the final four earning a trip to Lucas Oil Stadium to receive their honors and awards. All three events had more than 37 teams and 145 competitors.

Teams and individual places:

Environmental Natural Resources team – National Champions 
Seth Martin – National Champion Individual
Sophia Batanoiu
Sophie Hill
Faith Smith
Meats Evaluation team – Second place 
Eli Lyons – 8th place individual
Jair Naranjo
Kira Potter 
Alia Kenoyer
Milk Quality and Products – Third place
Monica Oropeza – 4th place individual
Dru Heyen – 7th place
Ivette Alvarado – 8th place
Jacob Holladay

Goehner is drafting a resolution for the Cashmere FFA team and hopes to present it to them once the 2024 legislative session starts.



Washington State House Republican Communications