Who We Are
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.
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 agriculture. 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.