The National FFA Organization is the largest youth-led organization in the US, with over 600,000 members in grades 7-12 as well as college. Their mission is to teach children premier leadership, personal growth, and career success. They do this by empowering kids through hands-on learning experiences, responsibilities of club leadership, and service-based learning.
Started in 1928, the first official FFA meeting had 33 students from 18 different states gathered together at the American Royal Livestock Show in Kansas City, MO. During this time, young boys were losing interest in working on the farm, and the club was a way to encourage and spark passion for agriculture. Girls were able to join the FFA in 1969, and now represent 45% of the members, and half of the adult advisors.
FFA stands for the Future Farmers of America. And while that was certainly the focus and mission of the club at its start, they have grown to educate well beyond farming. The school based agricultural education program translates into several careers, encompassing STEM courses. Courses prepare students for the challenges of running a business, feeding the population, bioengineering, sustainability practices, as well as their core principles: ethics and hard work.
With minimal yearly dues, the opportunities and skills your child could learn certainly are worth the cost and time they put into the program. Kids can get FFA degrees, grants, scholarships, lifelong skills and friendships, and so much more.
National FFA Organization, FFA.org
Ryan, Jaclyn. “The Importance of Agricultural Education and the FFA.” Advance-Ed