National FFA Week Celebrates Leadership, Agriculture Industry & More

National FFA Week Celebrates Leadership, Agriculture & More

It’s National FFA Week, and AnswerNet recognizes the organization’s role in developing tomorrow’s leaders today. Each year, FFA chapters around the country celebrate National FFA Week. It’s a time to share what FFA is and its impact on members, their communities, and the world.

Today, 850,823 FFA members aged 12-21 are in 8,995 chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. FFA members are in grades 7th through 12th and college.

Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders

FFA is a dynamic youth organization that changes lives and prepares members for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. It develops members’ potential and helps them discover their talent through hands-on experiences. This gives them the tools they need to achieve real-world success.

More Career Fields

FFA is more than careers in the agriculture and farm industries. Members are future chemists, veterinarians, government officials, entrepreneurs, bankers, international business leaders, teachers, and premier professionals in various career fields.

FFA is an intracurricular student organization for those interested in agriculture and leadership. It is one of the three components of agricultural education.

The official name of the organization is the National FFA Organization. The letters “FFA” stand for Future Farmers of America. These letters are a part of the organization’s history and heritage that will never change.

History with the Future in Mind

Future Farmers of America was founded by young farmers in 1928. Their mission was to prepare future generations for the challenges of feeding a growing population. They taught their members and the world that the agriculture industry is more than planting and harvesting – it’s a science, a business, and an art.

Preparing the Next Generation

FFA isn’t just for students who want to be production farmers. FFA also welcomes members who aspire to careers as teachers, doctors, scientists, business owners, and more. For this reason, the organization’s name was updated in 1988 to reflect the growing diversity and new opportunities in the agriculture industry.

FFA has always been about helping the next generation meet those challenges and developing tomorrow’s leaders. This is done by encouraging its members to develop their unique talents and explore their interests in various agricultural career pathways.

Today, you will find the organization is still the Future Farmers of America. Members are Future Biologists, Future Chemists, Future Veterinarians, Future Engineers, and Future Entrepreneurs of America.

After 95 years, the National FFA Organization remains committed to the individual student, providing a path to achievement in premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.

FFA is Structured on Three Levels

The three levels of FFA includes local FFA Chapters, State FFA Associations, and the National FFA Organization. Each level plays a significant role in developing tomorrow’s leaders. 

Local FFA Chapters

The heart of the National FFA Organization is at the local chapter level. The FFA chapter may be chartered in any public school with an agricultural education program. Leadership is provided by student officers elected each year, by the chapter’s members, and by the agriculture teacher who serves as the advisor for the chapter.

Rayce Meyer grew up on a farm and is a high school senior in northwest Iowa. He lives on an acreage on the edge of town and stays busy as the Secretary of his local FFA chapter. 

The FFA experience means the world to Rayce. “There are endless opportunities, events, and projects. You learn to appreciate everything about agriculture.”

He is excited to share details of his SAE projects. SAE stands for Supervised Agriculture Experience. It is an agricultural experience that students are required to complete during their sophomore, junior, and senior years in the agriculture program. 

The program allows students to pursue their passions in agriculture through hands-on learning, real-life experiences, and developing employable “soft” skills that will help them when they pursue a career. The program allows students to discover career options, learn how to act in the workplace, and develop and refine skills related to their SAE. 

Rayce has completed two SAE projects. He worked at J&C Willfarms and at 4Miller Farms as a barn walker and egg packer. He’s also been part of community service projects with his local FFA chapter. A special project was the Feed the Farmers program, where students prepared and delivered lunches to farmers in the field during harvest.

Congratulations Rayce

In April, Rayce is receiving the highest degree awarded to student members by the Iowa FFA Association during the 95th Iowa FFA Leadership Conference. He has completed the extensive requirements for the Iowa FFA Degree. This award is earned by fewer than five percent of the FFA members statewide. 

Rayce is looking forward to the next chapter of his life. He has been accepted to Drake University and plans to pursue a career in business law.

State FFA Associations

FFA is an organization consisting of state associations, and those state associations are made up of local chapters. State FFA Associations function within the constitution of the National FFA Organization. Still, they may also create individual leadership structures, awards, programs, and competitions.

National FFA Organization

The National FFA Organization is federally chartered, and at the national level, FFA is led by a board of directors and six national student officers. Together, they act on recommendations from the national convention delegates and agricultural education’s stakeholders to set the vision and policy for FFA.

Leadership at the national level provides life-changing opportunities for students. Jessica Herr grew up on a Generation Farm in Pennsylvania with dairy cows, poultry, and crops. She is a junior at Penn State, majoring in agricultural sciences and minoring in leadership.

She’s been a member of FFA for six years and has served in leadership roles in her local chapter and as the Pennsylvania State Secretary. She began serving her one-year term as Secretary of the National FFA Organization in October 2022.

Opportunities for Success

Jessica beams with pride when she talks about the organization and its meaning to her. “I value the communities and relationships I’ve built. It’s the value of being part of something much bigger than yourself. We are encouraged and challenged to build life and leadership skills we can use now and in the future.” 

Serving as a national leader provides opportunities to meet with partner industries and travel across the U.S. and internationally.

“We just returned from a trip to South Africa,” she says. “As much as we think we are different, we are the same. Everyone needs to eat, and agriculture brings us all together.”  

Jessica’s goals include working in agricultural communications and leadership development. With a twinkle in her eye, she says, “One day, I want to own a coffee shop/café in my hometown so I can serve the people of my community.”

Expert Contact Center Services for the Agriculture Industry

AnswerNet Agriculture is dedicated to providing first-rate contact center services and support to the farmers and agri-business. Our skilled and friendly agents are specially trained to stay updated with the latest agriculture technologies and trends to effectively communicate with your customers.

We also have the ability to provide 24/7 coverage for the agriculture industry. Farmers and ranchers often work long hours and may need support at any time of the day or night. AnswerNet Agriculture can provide around-the-clock phone answering services to ensure that your business can respond to its customers’ needs quickly and efficiently.

At AnswerNet Agriculture, we apply our years of contact center expertise to help farm-related businesses communicate with their customers.

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