FFA History

Photo: FFA EmblemHistorical Timeline of FFA

"Founded in 1928, the Future Farmers of America brought together students, teachers and agribusiness to solidify support for agricultural education. In Kansas City's Baltimore Hotel, 33 young farmboys charted a course for the future. They could not have foreseen how the organization would grow and thrive.

Since 1928, millions of agriculture students - no one knows exactly how many - have donned the official FFA jacket and championed the FFA creed. FFA has opened its doors and its arms to minorities and women, ensuring that all students could reap the benefits of agricultural education.

Today, the National FFA Organization remains committed to the individual student, providing a path to achievement in premier leadershippersonal growth and career success through agricultural education. Now, the organization is expanding the nation's view of "traditional" agriculture and finding new ways to infuse agriculture into the classroom."

FFA Mission

FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success.

To accomplish its mission, FFA:

  • Develops competent and assertive agricultural leadership.
  • Increases awareness of the global and technological importance of agriculture and its contribution to our well-being.
  • Strengthens the confidence of agriculture students in themselves and their work.
  • Promotes the intelligent choice and establishment of an agricultural career.
  • Encourages achievement in supervised agricultural experience programs.
  • Encourages wise management of economic, environmental and human resources of the community.
  • Develops interpersonal skills in teamwork, communications, human relations and social interaction.
  • Builds character and promotes citizenship, volunteerism and patriotism.
  • Promotes cooperation and cooperative attitudes among all people.
  • Promotes healthy lifestyles.
  • Encourages excellence in scholarships

Motto

The FFA motto gives members twelve short words to live by as they experience the opportunities in the organization.

Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.

Photo: FFA Motto

Important Moments in FFA History

*1928- 33 students from 18 states establish the FFA, at the American Royal National Livestock Juding Contest in Kansas City, MO. The first convention was held in the Baltimore Hotel in Kansas City, MO, and Leslie Applegate was elected first National FFA president. Dues were 10 cents!                                                                

*1929- National blue and corn gold are adopted as the FFA's official colors.

*1930- The FFA Creed is adopted. (Written by E.M. Tiffany)

*1933- The FFA jackets become the official dress of the National FFA organization.

*1935- NFA (New Farmers of America) founded for African-American boys.

*1944- National FFA Foundation established.

*1965-NFA and FFA combine.

*1969- Women are allowed to become National FFA members.

*1971- The National FFA Alumni Association is founded.

*1982- Jan Eberly becomes the first female National FFA President.

*1996- FFA announces its move of the national convention to Louisville, Ky.

*1999- The national FFA convention is held for the first time in Louisville.

Facts and Figures about FFA

  • Today there are more than 500,823 FFA members, ages 12-21 and 7,358 chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
  • 38% of FFA members are female; women hold more than 50% of state leadership positions
  • 77% of our membership is Caucasian; 17% is Hispanic and 4% is African-American
  • 89% of FFA members are in grades 9-12; 6% are in grades 7-8; 5% are high school graduates
  • 27% of FFA members live in rural, farm areas; the remainder live in rural non-farm (39%), urban and suburban areas (34%)

*Information found at www.ffa.org