Georgia Department of Agriculture

FFA Helps Students Develop Leadership, Life Skills

   Georgia FFA is an agriculture-related organization devoted to developing leadership and life skills for youth.  For those readers who may not be familiar with FFA, a brief overview of the organization is provided below.

    FFA operates on local, state and national levels. Student members belong to chapters organized at the local school level. Agricultural education instructors serve as chapter advisors. Chapters are organized under state associations headed by an advisor and executive secretary, often employees of the state department of education. State FFA organizations conduct programs and host annual conventions.

    The association prepares students by helping them develop leadership and life skills that will shape their decision-making and values for the remainder of their lives.  Involvement in FFA helps students build self-esteem and prepare for career success.

    Students between the ages of 12 and 21 who are enrolled in a systematic course of instruction in agricultural education are eligible for membership in FFA. In order to join, the student must be in a local school system that offers agricultural instruction and has an active FFA chapter.

    Founded in 1928, the former "Future Farmers of America" brought together students, teachers and agribusiness to solidify support for agricultural education. The name of the organization was changed to the National FFA Organization in 1988 to reflect the growing diversity of agriculture. Currently, there are 540,369 FFA members, in 7,489 chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands engaged in a wide range of agricultural education activities.

    Georgia FFA, founded in 1929, is the 3rd largest state association in the nation with more than 34,000 members. There are 285 chapters and more than 400 agricultural education teachers in Georgia.

    If a school does not have an agricultural education program, students and parents of students can take steps to open an FFA chapter.

    Contact your state agricultural education staff to express your interest and ask for assistance regarding regulations, requirements and resources for planning the new program.  Georgia state FFA staff can be reached at, 706-552-4456, or Georgia FFA Association, 316 Poultry Science, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.



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