History of the FFA:
In 1917, the Smith-Hughes National Vocational Education Act paved the way to establish vocational agriculture programs in local high schools. In the early 1920's, a group of Virginia schools began the Future Farmers Club, which quickly spread across the nation. In 1928, the Future Farmers of America was established at the first national convention in Kansas City, MO, and elected Mr. Leslie Applegate of Freehold, NJ as the first National President. In 1929, National Blue and Corn Gold were adopted as the official colors. In 1930, the FFA Official Dress and FFA Creed written by E.M. Tiffany were adopted. In 1933, the Blue Corduroy Jacket was adopted. In 1950, President Harry S. Truman granted a Federal Charter, Public Law 740, to the FFA which provides federal government support to the organization. In 1965, The New Farmers of America (a national African American agricultural student organization) merged with the Future Farmers of America eliminating segregation of the 2 organizations. In 1969, the FFA opened membership to girls. In 1988, the Future Farmers of America changed its name to National FFA Organization to reflect growing diversity of the agriculture industry. Also in 1988, middle school students were admitted to the FFA. Today, the National FFA Organization has the largest student membership of all national youth organizations, and continues to hold an annual National Convention and Expo that attracts more than 50,000 members. The Annual National FFA Convention and Expo is ranked the 3rd largest convention in the US placing them behind the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
The FFA Creed:
The FFA Creed written by E.M Tiffany and adopted at the 3rd National FFA Convention in 1930.
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 agriculturalists; 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, 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 agriculturists 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.
The FFA Motto:
Learning to Do,
Doing to Learn,
Earning to Live,
Living to Serve.
The FFA Colors:
National Blue and Corn Gold
The FFA Salute (aka The Pledge of Allegiance):
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
The FFA Official Dress:
- Black Skirt
- White collared blouse
- Official FFA blue Scarf
- Black dress shoes with a closed heel and toe
- Black nylon hosiery
- An Official FFA jacket zipped to the top.
- Black Dress Slacks
- White collared shirt
- Official FFA tie
- Black dress shoes
- Black Socks
- An Official FFA jacket zipped to the top
FFA Code of Ethics
As an FFA member, I pledge to:
- Develop my potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success.
- Make a positive difference in the lives of others.
- Dress neatly and appropriately for the occasion.
- Respect the rights of others and their property
- Be courteous, honest and fair with others.
- Communicate in an appropriate, purposeful and positive manner.
- Demonstrate good sportsmanship by being modest in winning and generous in defeat.
- Make myself aware of FFA programs and activities and be an active participant.
- Conduct and value a supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program.
- Strive to establish and enhance my skills through agricultural education in order to enter a successful career
- Appreciate and promote diversity in our organization.
Types of FFA Membership:
- Active Member - Any dues paying high school student participating in an agricultural education program. Students may retain membership up until November 30 following his or her 4th National FFA Convention after graduation from High School.
- Collegiate Member - Any dues paying college student participating in a college FFA chapter and pursuing post-secondary education in agriculture.
- Alumni Member - Open to anyone interested in supporting and promoting agricultural education and FFA on the local, state, and national level. Prior FFA membership is not required.
- Honorary Member - Given to individuals who have provided outstanding service to FFA and Agricultural Education.
- Discovery Degree - Degree for 7th and 8th grade students to begin acquaint them with the FFA and chapter activities.
- Greenhand Degree - Degree for 9th grade members to become acquainted with FFA traditions, chapter activities, and develop an SAE program.
- Chapter Degree - Degree for 10 th grade members who demonstrate academic and agricultural education success, active FFA membership, leadership, community service, and develop and implement an SAE program. Must have earned the greenhand degree prior to earning the chapter degree.
- Garden State Degree - Degree for 11 th/12 th grade members who demonstrate academic and agricultural education success, active FFA membership, leadership, community service, and growth in their SAE program. Must have earned the chapter degree prior to earning the state degree.
- American Degree - Degree for post-graduates who demonstrate academic and agricultural education success, active FFA membership, leadership, community service, and continued implementation of their SAE program for at least 1 year after graduation. Must have earned the state degree prior to earning the American degree, and must earn prior to expiration of active membership. Highest degree a member can earn.