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Exploring the history of National FFA Week

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“Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful, and most noble employment of man,” — George Washington.

 

FFA members will observe the 75th anniversary of National FFA Week from February 19 to 26, 2022. During this time the National FFA Organization and its members will celebrate what FFA is and the impact it has on members every day. But before FFA members start the celebrations, it is important to understand the importance and history of National FFA Week.

Every year, FFA members, state officers, ag advisors, alumni, and the organization’s supporters celebrate National FFA Week the Saturday to Saturday that encompasses George Washington’s birthday — February 22. George Washington is a role model for those in the National FFA Organization. Although he was not personally involved in FFA, he was remembered as a great farmer. In addition, many of the founding members of FFA used the founding fathers as examples of character, culture and tradition.

However, before National FFA Week was ever celebrated officially, there was an FFA Day. According to research from The Friday Footnote, the idea of having a National FFA Day originated from an FFA convention delegate during the sixth national FFA convention in 1933 (the 95th national convention will be celebrated in 2022). In the beginning years of the celebrations, the actual date of FFA Day changed from year to year. However, in 1938 it was established that FFA Day would be celebrated on the Tuesday of the National FFA Convention.

After a decade of celebrating FFA Day during national convention, the decision was made to honor the organization for a full week. In July of 1947, the FFA Board of Trustees decided to create National FFA Week — instead of highlighting only one single day.

In 1948, the first National FFA Week was celebrated by chapters across the country. Since then, the organization has grown exponentially. For example, in 1948 there were a total of 260,300 FFA members. However, that number has grown to 735,000 student members in 8,817 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, the organization is supported by more than 8 million alumni members.

The purpose of National FFA Week is to share the message of the agriculture industry from its future leaders. National FFA Week gives FFA members an opportunity to educate the public about agriculture and show their local impact and story. During the week, chapters conduct a variety of activities to help others in their school and community learn about FFA and agricultural education.

Fun things to do this year:

  • Tractor Supply will once again have their paper emblem program that raises money for FFA chapters across the country. Tractor Supply consumers can purchase an FFA paper emblem at TSC stores during checkout. Emblems can be purchased at any denomination.
  • On Tuesday, Feb. 22, and Thursday, February, 24, at 1:30 p.m. EST, FFA members can try their hand at some FFA, ag and ag education trivia. Each session lasts 30 minutes, with two rounds per session. Winners can win prizes! Join via Zoom here.
  • Give FFA Day will be celebrated on Thursday, February 24. These donations help fund the programs that make a difference in the lives of FFA members.

So while FFA members are celebrating National FFA Week this year and the joy it brings them, let us not forget our roots. The history of National FFA Week can be traced back over 75 years ago and the journey to get here today shall not be forgotten.

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