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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Feb 15, 2008

Feb. 16-23 is National FFA Week, a time to honor the youth who belong to the Future Farmers of America.

In the early 1920’s, the state of Virginia, under the guidance of Henry Groseclose, a pioneer in vocational agriculture, formed a Future Farmers Club for boys enrolled in agricultural classes. From there a national organization was founded in 1928 in Kansas City, Mo.

By 1934, Alaska and Rhode Island were the only states without chartered associations. In 1950, FFA was granted a federal charter by Congress, thus making it an integral part of public agricultural instruction. In 1969, girls were allowed to become members. FFA has since changed its name from the Future Farmers of America, as it is commonly known, to the The National FFA Organization.

With 7,358 chapters in 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, FFA has a total membership of 500,823. The 2007 National FFA Convention alone had 53,631 in attendance.

FFA is one of those organizations that may not receive a great deal of attention outside the farmbelt, but its impact goes far beyond the fields of corn and soybeans so typical of the heartland.

It’s the values that FFA instills in our youth that makes it one of the premier organizations in our country today that helps young people successfully climb the ladder to adulthood.

Like other organizations related to agriculture, FFA has kept abreast of the times, educating youth about the meteoric advances in agriculture that have occurred in just the past few years with the advent of renewable energy.

If you have a FFA chapter in your local school, support it by participating in the organization’s fundraisers and public events.

If your school does not have a local FFA, see what you can do to help start one. The resources that FFA can provide to any ag-in-the-classroom program are enormous and well tested.

Hats off to FFA!