FFA

The unique approaches of FFA chapters across the country

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The National FFA Organization is represented by more than 8,800 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. With over 735,000 student members, it can be hard to imagine this organization as unique. However, FFA is unique and has a unique meaning to each one of its members. Although it is a national organization, the magic lies in the local level. 

Just like no two members are the same, neither are the chapters or state-level organizations. That is the beauty of the National FFA Organization — it is a student led organization that can focus on its individual community needs and interests. The National FFA Organization covers a vast area, and they are areas that differ greatly — everything from climate to culture — to make up the organization’s unique reach.

Although the organization was founded upon the belief in agriculture and leadership, there are so many other pillars that make the organization unique to its state associations. 

Talent ant Career Development Events 

Talent and Career Development Events (CDE) can be unique to each state association. CDEs challenge FFA members to think critically, develop effective decision-making skills, foster teamwork, and promote communication while recognizing the value of competition and achievement. On the national level, there are a wide arrange of events, including Agriculture Sales, Creed Speaking, and Meats Evaluation and Technology — events that members from across the country can relate to. However, on the state level, there are more events that are more tailored to certain areas. 

Examples of CDEs include: 

All of these CDEs define the agricultural strengths of each state. For example, Florida had 474,540 total citrus acres — which is 57 percent of the national total. So it is important for FFA members to have the opportunity to dive deeper into that industry compared to a member from Iowa.

Community Service 

Community service events serve both the community and the FFA chapter. It brings together members while also providing a service for their local community. While chapters from across the country are able to provide resources to their communities it looks different for every state, and even every region. 

Just last year, the National FFA Organization set a nationwide initiative to complete 930,000 collective service hours before the 93rd National FFA Convention & Expo. Service is at the core of the organization. However, how those hours were completed were totally up to the individual chapter. For example, some completed their service hours with Pennsylvania Ag Literacy Week, writing holiday letters to our military members, creating a special needs livestock show, and so much more

History

While the National FFA Organization’s history is well documented, each state has its own history. Did you know that Alaska was the last state to join the National FFA Organization? Or that Texas is the state with the most members?  

Even Hawaii has a strong history with FFA as well. Lahainaluna FFA (Maui) is the oldest agricultural education program in the western U.S. and can date its agriculture classes back to the 1830s, which is almost a century before FFA!

Even though the National FFA Organization is a representation of agriculture all across the country, it is the unique aspects of each state that make it so special. For without its unique aspects, it would not be possible to reach so many members. 

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