FFA: AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION
Who We Are
"Future Farmers of America" was founded by a group of young farmers back in 1928. Their mission was to prepare future generations for the challenges of feeding a growing population. They taught us that agriculture is more than planting and harvesting-- it's a science, it's a business and it's an art.
FFA continues to help the next generation rise up to meet those challenges by helping its members to develop their own unique talents and explore their interests in a broad range of career pathways.
So today, we are still the Future Farmers of America. But, we are the Future Biologists, Future Chemists, Future Veterinarians, Future Engineers and Future Entrepreneurs of America, too.
Following the formation of the National Organization of Future Farmers of America in 1928, the North Carolina Association of Future Farmers of America was chartered in September 1929.
The FFA is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
To accomplish its mission, FFA:
- Develops competent and assertive agricultural leadership.
- Increases awareness of the global and technological importance of agriculture and its contribution to our well-being.
- Strengthens the confidence of agriculture students in themselves and their work.
- Promotes the intelligent choice and establishment of an agricultural career.
- Encourages achievement in supervised agricultural experience programs.
- Encourages wise management of economic, environmental and human resources of the community.
- Develops interpersonal skills in teamwork, communications, human relations and social interaction.
- Builds character and promotes citizenship, volunteerism and patriotism.
- Promotes cooperation and cooperative attitudes among all people.
- Promotes healthy lifestyles.
- Encourages excellence in scholarship
The FFA motto gives members twelve short words to live by as they experience the opportunities in the organization. Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.
Levels of the Organization
FFA operates on the local, federation, regional, state, and national levels. Student members belong to chapters organized at the local level. Agricultural education teachers serve as chapter advisors. Chapters are organized under the North Carolina FFA Association, headed by the State FFA Advisor and the State FFA Coordinator. The state association conducts programs, leadership conferences, career development events, provides recognition to students, and provides resources and support to agricultural teachers and FFA advisors. Six state FFA officers lead the membership of the North Carolina FFA Association and are elected annually by state FFA convention delegates.
National FFA Statistics
- Today, there are 540,379 FFA members, aged 12‒21, in 7,489 chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- More than 11,000 FFA advisors and agriculture teachers deliver an integrated model of agricultural education providing students with innovative and leading-edge education, enabling them to grow into competent leaders.
- Agriculture is the nation’s largest employer, with more than 23 million jobs (17 percent of the civilian workforce) involved in some facet of American agriculture.
North Carolina FFA Statistics
- Today, there are 18,643 FFA members, aged 12‒21, in 243 chapters across our state. This represents a 30-year high in membership for the North Carolina FFA and ranks our state as the 7th largest FFA Association in the nation.
- More than 400 teachers deliver innovative and integrated curriculum in 296 programs across North Carolina
- Agriculture is North Carolina’s number one industry providing more than $70 billion to our state’s economy annually.
North Carolina FFA Center
Since 1928 the North Carolina FFA Center at White Lake has provided students with outstanding leadership and recreational experiences. Summer programs include leadership and personal development conferences. During the center’s 83-year history, more than 131,000 students have had the experience of a lifetime. The North Carolina FFA Center in Bladen County is one of the oldest FFA centers in the nation.
Opportunities for Involvement
- Degree Programs – FFA members can earn degrees as they progress through the phases of their leadership, academic and career skills development. The Discovery Degree, Greenhand Degree and Chapter FFA Degree are all earned at the chapter level. State FFA Associations recognize their top members with a State FFA Degree. The National FFA Organization awards top members from each state with the American FFA Degree.
- Career Development Events – Career opportunities abound within today’s agriculture industry. Career Development Events help students develop the abilities to think critically, communicate clearly, and perform effectively in a competitive job market.
- Proficiency Awards – The Agricultural Proficiency Awards honor FFA members who, through their Supervised Agricultural Experience Programs, have developed specialized skills that they can apply toward their future careers. Students can compete for awards in 47 areas covering everything from Agricultural Communications to Wildlife Management. Each award area has two categories, placement and entrepreneurship.
- Scholarships – Each year the National FFA Organization awards approximately $2 million in scholarships designed to fit the diversity of our members. The North Carolina FFA Association awards over $10,000 in scholarships annually.
- Leadership Programs – Each summer for six weeks at the North Carolina FFA Center members have an opportunity to participate in premier leadership and personal growth workshops.
- Leadership Conferences – Throughout the year the FFA presents workshops that promote premier leadership, personal growth and career success. One major conference designed by National FFA is the Washington Leadership Conference. This is held each summer in the nation’s capital. In North Carolina, we offer several conferences including our MEGA Conference held in late winter and our annual State Leadership Conference held at the North Carolina FFA Center in the summer.
- Agriscience Fair – The FFA Agriscience Fair is an event for FFA members who conduct a scientific research project pertaining to the agriculture and food science industries and, present their findings to a panel of judges with a display and a report.
- Partners in Active Learning Support (PALS) – PALS is a mentoring program that matches FFA members with elementary and/or middle school students. PALS mentors teach young students about the science and business of agriculture. They also serve as positive role models, helping their mentees learn to set goals, and build positive self-esteem.
- State FFA Convention – The North Carolina FFA State Convention is held each June with over 2,500 FFA members and guests from across the state in attendance. Members participate in general sessions, competitive events, educational tours, leadership workshops, a career show, volunteer activities and much more.
- National FFA Convention – The national FFA convention is held each October with nearly 55,000 FFA members and guests from across the country in attendance. Members participate in general sessions, competitive events, educational tours, leadership workshops, a career show and expo, volunteer activities and much more. It is one of the largest annual student conventions in the country.
For more information on FFA opportunities, visit the following web sites: