The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation Tuesday to modernize the charter of the National FFA Organization sponsored by Reps. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA), co-chairs of the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus. The bill increases FFA’s autonomy while preserving its longstanding relationship with the U.S. Department of Education.
Of the nearly 100 federally charted nonprofits, FFA is the sole organization that must rely on its partner government agency to select the majority of its board members. H.R. 439, the National FFA Organization’s Federal Charter Amendments Act, reforms how FFA’s board is selected to better reflect the broad array of stakeholders invested in the organization. The bill also gives FFA’s charter an explicit focus on agricultural CTE, which will help better prepare student members for 21st Century careers.
“For decades, FFA has been fundamental to agricultural education in Rhode Island and across the country,” said Congressman Langevin. “Today’s FFA does not only train future farmers, it also helps prepare the next generation of scientists, veterinarians, and business owners. The bill I introduced with Rep. Thompson makes long overdue updates to FFA’s charter and grants the organization increased autonomy so it more accurately reflects its current mission.”
“In its 90-year history, the FFA has been a leader in preparing American youth for careers in the agriculture industry,” said Congressman Thompson. “This bipartisan bill will modernize the charter, promoting more control from within the organization, so it can continue to inspire generations of young agriculture leaders. I thank my friend Rep. Jim Langevin for his leadership on this issue, and I am pleased to see the House unanimously approve these commonsense changes.”
“These amendments let FFA build to meet the needs of 21st Century agriculture,” said Mark Poeschl, Chief Executive Officer of the National FFA Organization and Foundation. “They allow National FFA to self-govern while maintaining our long relationship with the U.S. Department of Education and clearly define the important integral nature of agricultural education, FFA leadership development, and experiential learning for the first time.”
H.R. 439 will ensure FFA maintains a close relationship with the Departments of Education and Agriculture. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. Legislation very similar to H.R. 439 — S. 2432, the National FFA Organization’s Federal Charter Amendments Act, sponsored by Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) — passed the Senate in December.