Origin, History, and Expansion of the Future Farmers of America
The FFA was organized nationally in 1928 in Kansas City, MO. In 1950, Congress granted the FFA a federal charter making it an integral, intra-curricular part of public agricultural instruction under the National Vocational Education Acts.
The organization changed its name in 1988 from Future Farmers of America to National FFA Organization to reflect an evolution in response to expanded agricultural opportunities encompassing science, business and technology in addition to production farming.
FFA members, who may enter the workforce directly or pursue higher degrees from technical schools or other universities, are preparing for careers in agricultural marketing, processing, communications, education, horticulture, production, natural resources, forestry, agribusiness and other diverse agricultural fields.
FFA is an intra-curricular student organization for those interested in agriculture and leadership.
It is one of the three components of agricultural education: FFA, Supervised Agricultural Experiences, and Classroom Instruction. FFA develops members’ potential and helps them discover their talent through hands-on experiences, which gives members the tools to achieve real-world success.
FFA membership is open to students aged 12-21 enrolled in an agricultural education course. Tennessee FFA activities occur on the chapter, regional, and state levels.
Tennessee FFA is comprised of:
• The Tennessee FFA Association: The 30,000 student-members and 220 chapters led by the Tennessee FFA State Officer Team.
• The Tennessee FFA Alumni and Supporters: The Alumni functions as a supportive resource to Tennessee FFA members at the state and local level.
• The Tennessee FFA Foundation: The Tennessee FFA Foundation raises funds and support for Tennessee FFA through individual donations, corporate partnerships, state government grants, and fundraising events.
• Tennessee Association of Agricultural Educators: Agricultural educators are the foundation on which our organization succeeds. The TAAE serves as a professional development resource to all agricultural education teachers across the state.
Agricultural education prepares students for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices in the global agriculture, food, fiber, and natural resources industries. Through agricultural education, students are provided opportunities for leadership development, personal growth, and career success.
FFA membership is at an all-time high, both in Tennessee and the United States. Tennessee FFA is the fifth largest state association in the country. As the global population continues to increase, FFA membership and knowledge of agricultural systems continues to become even more valuable.
In Tennessee, FFA membership totals 30,000, making it the fifth largest in the United States.
The Tennessee Future Farmers of America (FFA) Foundation, Inc. started in 1983 as an important part of the FFA family by raising funds and support for the student leadership program through a volunteer board of directors.
Since 2005, the Foundation has employed a full-time Executive Director.
Today, the Tennessee FFA Foundation provides scholarships, awards and recognition to hundreds of students across Tennessee. Most importantly, the Tennessee FFA Foundation is leading the nation by paying state and national membership dues for every student enrolled in agricultural education – a program known as “Membership Affiliation”.
Plus, the Foundation organizes events including:
• Tennessee State Fair FFA Ham Breakfast
• Tennessee Breakfast at National FFA Convention
• Tennessee FFA Goodwill Tour
• Tennessee FFA Legislative Breakfast
• Career and Trade Show at the State FFA Convention
• Foundation Training for State Officers
• Tennessee FFA Star Tour
As a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, the Tennessee FFA Foundation is all about benefitting the students involved in FFA. The generosity of former members, parents, agribusinesses, corporations, and state government culminate to provide students with opportunities to achieve premier leadership, personal growth and career success through the FFA program.