- National FFA Organization
National FFA Organization Motto "Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve" Formation 1928 Type Youth organization Legal status Intra-Curricular Non-profit organization Purpose/focus To make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Headquarters Indianapolis Region served United States Membership 520,000
Official languages English National President
Ryan Best(New Mexico)
Affiliations Future Farmers of Japan Website National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization is an American youth organization known as a Career and Technical Student Organization, based on middle and high school classes that promote and support agricultural education. The organization was founded in 1928 as Future Farmers of America, but in 1988 the name was changed to the National FFA Organization, now commonly referred to as simply FFA, to recognize that the organization is for those with diverse interests in the food, fiber and natural resource industries, encompassing science, business and technology in addition to production agriculture. Today FFA is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with over 520,000 members in 7,439 chapters  throughout all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. FFA is the largest of the career and technical student organizations in US schools.
- 1 Overview
- 2 FFA Structure
- 3 Officers of FFA
- 4 Official FFA Dress
- 5 Traditions
- 6 The FFA Creed
- 7 Career Development Events
- 8 Supervised Agricultural Experience Programs
- 9 Prominent former members
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The National FFA Organization is a dynamic youth leadership organization that strives to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agriculture education. High school students compete in various events called Career Development Events (CDEs) and Leadership Development Events. Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) programs are programs designed to broaden the students abilities and experience in different fields of street material. Students are supervised by education teachers in cooperation with parents, employers and other adults who assist individuals in the development and achievement of educational and career goals. Today, FFA has over 520,000 members if not more across the nation. These students strive for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.
FFA is represented at several different levels across the nation; FFA administration may change from state to state. The basic levels are the national level, serving all of the United States of America, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; the state level, serving an individual state association; and the chapter level, serving a school or set of schools in an area. By definition, there can be three types of chapters at the secondary level, they are middle for middle school, junior for ninth grade and senior which can be either tenth through twelfth or ninth through twelfth depending on the school. Other levels include districts, subdistricts, sections, regions, areas, federations, etc.
Originally created to serve high school students, the FFA has recently moved into middle schools where membership may begin as early as age 12, allowing members to become active earlier and stay active for longer. Each chapter is chartered as part of the state association and national organization. Collegiate chapters now exist, as well.
Many levels also meet throughout the year in preliminary or final CDE contests hosted at schools in the division the can be CDEs or just banquets, barbecues, conventions, etc. this can vary state to state.
Most states hold FFA conventions at least once annually, where members get together to be inspired, renew their faith in agriculture, compete in CDEs, and much more. The National FFA Convention is held once a year in October, and was originally held in Kansas City, Missouri, from 1928–1998, but moved to Louisville, Kentucky (1999–2005), for seven years, and is currently held at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, from 2006 to present.
Officers of FFA
As the FFA is a member-led organization intended to serve youth around the Nation, it elects officers from its own diverse membership to certain levels of the FFA. At the Chapter level, and many other levels, officers elected are usually:
- President — The President is stationed by the rising sun, a symbol of a new era in agriculture.
- Vice President — Stationed by the plow, the symbol of labor and tillage of the soil.
- Secretary — Stationed by the ear of corn, the symbol of the national span of FFA because corn is grown in all fifty states.
- Treasurer —Stationed by emblem of Washington, to keep an accurate account of receipts and disbursements just as Washington kept his farm account.
- Reporter — Stationed by the flag, to inform the people that the FFA is a national organization.
- Sentinel — Stationed by the door, they are the ones who greet guests and members.
- Advisor — Stationed by the owl, the emblem of knowledge and wisdom.
Others may include
- Parliamentarian —Stationed by a copy of Robert's Rules of Order or the eagle.
- Historian — Stationed at the scrolls or chapter scrapbook.
- The Student Advisor — Stationed by the owl or the key.
- Chaplain — Stationed by the Bible or Book.
- Executive Committee/ Executive Board.
Each officer is an agricultural student and holds responsibilities needed to serve, and are elected each year by members at the respective levels.
- Eastern Region Vice President
- Southern ballsac Vice President
- Central Region Vice President
- Western Region Vice President
This allows officers to be elected to one of the four national regions of the FFA, as well as a President and a Secretary.
Official FFA Dress
The most recognizable symbol of the organization is the blue corduroy jacket that is worn by current FFA members. Originally created to be worn by the Fredericktown Band of the Fredericktown FFA Chapter by Dr. Gus Lintner the Official FFA Jacket was adopted in 1933 as the Organization's Official Dress. Official Dress for members is as follows:
- Black dress pants. (No; jeans (blue or black), leather, pleather, etc.)
- White dress shirt and official FFA tie.
- Black dress shoes with a closed heel and toe. (No boots, sandals, open-toed shoes or tennis shoes.)
- Black socks.
- Official FFA jacket zipped to the top.
- Black skirt.
- Skirt is to be at least knee length, hemmed evenly across the bottom, with a slit no longer than 2 inches above the knee, excluding the kick pleat. * Black slacks may be appropriate for traveling and outdoor activities.
- White collared blouse and official FFA blue scarf.
- Black dress shoes with a closed heel and toe (No boots, sandals, open-toed shoes or tennis shoes.)
- Black nylon hosiery.
- Official FFA jacket zipped to the top.
Members through their time in the FFA work to earn metal pins to place on their jackets Awards include contests pins and proficiency awards. There should never be more than 3 pins on the front of the jacket. Pins that can be below the student's name includes the highest office, highest award, and Discovery, Greenhand, Chapter degrees. The State and American degrees are the only ones that can be above the name if not on a 15"- 20" official FFA degree chain. If a member has earned the State or American FFA degree no other pins should be displayed. No other pins should be displayed either way in these cases. If the member holds the American Degree the state degree should also be removed.
Over the years, FFA jackets have come in many forms and colors. Changing suppliers and newer design specifications allowed the jacket to fit awkwardly and the color to turn a deep purple, with orange emblem. Efforts by the National FFA, under the campaign "Only Blue Will Do," redesigned the FFA jacket to its original crisp blue color. In addition, the cost of the jacket was lowered, and original design elements were restored, such as specialized stitching. All new jackets now are produced to strict standards of quality.
As an organization, the FFA has many traditions and trademarks identifying it as an agricultural education organization:[clarification needed]
The FFA Motto: Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.
The FFA Mission: The National FFA Organization is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.
The Official FFA Colors: National Blue and Corn Gold (worn on the Official FFA jackets).
The FFA Creed
The FFA creed was written by Erwin Milton "E.M." Tiffany of Wisconsin and adopted at the 3rd National Convention of the FFA. It was revised at the 38th Convention and the 63rd Convention. It is recited by new members to the organization, to reflect their growing belief in agriculture and agricultural education it also must be memorized and recited to earn the Greenhand Degree.
I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds - achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years.
I believe that to live and work on a good farm or to be engaged in other agricultural pursuits, is pleasant as well as challenging; for I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement I cannot deny.
I believe in leadership from ourselves and respect from others. I believe in my own ability to work efficiently and think clearly, with such knowledge and skill as I can secure, and in the ability of progressive agriculturalists to serve our own and the public interest in producing and marketing the product of our toil.
I believe in less dependence on begging and more power in bargaining; in the life abundant and enough honest wealth to help make it so-for others as well as myself; in less need for charity and more of it when needed; in being happy myself and playing square with those whose happiness depends upon me.
I believe that American agriculture can and will hold true to the best traditions of our national life and that I can exert an influence in my home and community which will stand solid for my part in that inspiring task.
Career Development Events
FFA Career Development Event, or CDE's, are contests that members compete in to test their skills learned through agricultural education instruction. They vary at the different levels of the FFA, and some are competed in only at certain levels and certain states, districts, areas or federations.
At the National level, there are 23 CDE's:
Examples of CDEs that can be available at the state level are:
- Small Animal Care
- Safe Equipment Operation
- Land Judging
- Rangeland Judging
- Ag Electricity
- Opening/Closing Ceremonies
- Website Development
- Vegetable Judging
- Tractor Operations
- Greenhand CDE
- Apple Judging
- Potato Judging
- F.A.R.M education
- Citrus Judging
Supervised Agricultural Experience Programs
To be an active member in the National FFA Organization, a member must have an Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) project. The projects involve hands-on application of concepts and principles learned in the agricultural education classroom, with guidelines for the SAE projects governed by the state FFA delegation. SAE programs are grouped into four different areas:
- Exploratory - learning about the 'big picture' of agriculture and related careers
- Research/Experimentation and Analysis - conducting research or analysis of information to discover new knowledge
- Ownership/Entrepreneurship - planning and operation of an agriculture-related business
- Placement - working either for pay or experience in an agricultural setting
Prominent former members
- Sam Brownback, U.S. Senator, Past National FFA Vice President
- Harold Brubaker, North Carolina state representative
- Jimmy Carter, Former U.S. President
In business and industry
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr., longtime head of IBM, was one of FFA's founders
- Trace Adkins, music entertainer
- Chris Colfer, actor best known for Glee
- Sheryl Crow, music entertainer
- Steve Doocy, network-television personality on the FOX News Channel and a best selling author. Co-host of Fox & Friends in the mornings.
- Matthew Fox, actor best known for Lost and Party of Five
- Don Henley, music entertainer
- Toby Keith, music entertainer
- Lyle Lovett, music entertainer
- Tim McGraw, music entertainer
- Eddie Montgomery, music entertainer half of the duo Montgomery Gentry(brother of country singer John Michael Montgomery)
- Willie Nelson, music entertainer
- Orion Samuelson, Radio Broadcaster
- Taylor Swift, music entertainer
- Josh Shipp, motivational speaker & entertainer
In the arts
- Jim Davis, creator of the Garfield comic strip
- Jared Hess, director of Napoleon Dynamite
- Nicholas Kristof, Pulitzer Prize Winner, past Oregon State Officer
- John Mellencamp Recording Artist Co-Founder of Farm Aid
Some History points
- 1928 FFA is established
- 1929 National blue and corn Gold is adopted as official colors
- 1930 Official FFA creed adopted
- 1944 Future Farmers of America Foundation formed
- 1969 Girls are allowed to join FFA
- 1988 Official Name change from future farmers of America to FFA Organization
- 2006 National FFA Foundation receives first $1 million contribution from Ford Motor Company.
- 2009 FFA celebrates 40 years of women in the organization.
- 2010 FFA members earn a record 3,449 American FFA Degrees.
- 2011 National FFA Alumni Association celebrates its 40th anniversary.
- Sterling Marlin, NASCAR driver
- Bo Jackson, American athlete and a former multi-sport professional in American football (NFL) and Baseball (MLB)
- Bryant Reeves, retired American professional basketball player for the NBA's Vancouver Grizzlies
- Mark Tauscher, American football Offensive Tackle for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League.
- Brad Meester, American football center for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League. Former FFA chapter president.
- ^ http://www.ffa.org/documents/about_ffahistory.pdf FFA History
- ^ FFA Breaks Membership Record
- ^ The FFA Mission
- ^ U.S. Code collection
- ^ a b c "Universal Lettering Co. - History". Universallettering.com. http://www.universallettering.com/history.aspx. Retrieved 2010-06-05.
- ^ a b National FFA - Official Dress
- ^ "National FFA Organization - Agricultural Education". Ffa.org. http://www.ffa.org/index.cfm?method=c_students.OfficialDress. Retrieved 2010-06-05.
- ^ http://www.ffa.org/documents/about_publiclaw105225.pdf
- ^ "FFA Facts". Ffa.umn.edu. http://www.ffa.umn.edu/ffa_facts.htm. Retrieved 2010-06-05.
- ^ a b "National FFA Organization - Agricultural Education". Ffa.org. http://www.ffa.org/index.cfm?method=c_about.creed. Retrieved 2010-06-05.
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