FFA is an amazing organization with over 90 years of history. From the origin of our colors to name changes to show diversity, our history is rich with knowledge and innovation. Two years ago I competed in Quiz Bowl at my state convention and had to learn hundreds of facts and dates. Here is a quick article with 15 dates and their purpose in our organization explained. Hopefully, they will help you if you too are competing in Quiz Bowl:
1917- Smith-Hughes Act
This act established vocational agriculture in public schools. Without this act, FFA wouldn’t have been established.
1928- FFA is founded
FFA has made a positive difference in the lives of young agriculturalists for almost a century and will continue to do so for years to come.
1928- First FFA camp is started
The first camp is located in White Lake, North Carolina and is currently the number one FFA camp in the country.
1929- Corn gold and national blue became the official colors
The iconic colors of FFA were decided upon by the delegates of the 2nd national convention. These colors are on everything from walls to shirts to phone cases.
1930- FFA creed is adopted
The creed was written by E.M. Tiffany in 1928. The creed was written to establish a collective vision and goals with an intent to provide direction and purpose to each individual FFA member as well as the organization itself. Fun fact: the FFA creed has been revised twice to get to the current version.
1933- The jacket is adopted
Our now famous blue corduroy jackets were first seen at National Convention in Kansas City. Delegates saw the jackets for the first time on members of the Fredericktown, Ohio FFA chapter and have been worn ever since.
1948- First ever FFA week celebrated
We all love FFA week, from the dress up days to celebrating George Washington’s birthday, every moment is amazing. Fun Fact: The reason for the set dates for National FFA Week is also to celebrate George Washington’s birthday.
1950- FFA received its national charter
Public Law 740 was passed in 1950 which gave FFA a Federal Charter. The federal charter means that the organization is to cooperate with national and state government on promoting vocational education. This is when FFA became a legit student led organization.
1952- Code of ethics was adopted
The code of ethics guides FFA members in how the should act in and out of official dress and when they are competing.
1965- NFA and FFA merged
The NFA(New Farmers of America) was created in Tuskegee, AL so that African-American agriculture students in the segregated south could participate in agriculture classes. In 1965, FFA and NFA merged to create equal opportunities for every male no matter the color of their skin.
1969- Girls allowed into the FFA
Girls could be their chapter’s “sweetheart”, but didn’t receive full membership status until 1969. Today, females represent more than 45% of FFA members and roughly 70% of all leadership positions held in the organization are held by girls.
1971- FFA alumni created
We are thankful every day for our alumni. They help sponsor on the local, state, and national level. Being an alumni member helps people get involved with their local chapters.
1976- FFA chartered all 50 states
The first nine states to be chartered were Kansas, Ohio, Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming at the 1971 National Convention.
1988- Name change
Delegates vote to change the name from Future Farmers of America to the National FFA Organization. It was changed so that when you saw the name, you didn’t just think it was for farmers. With the new name, it shows the diversity of agriculture and that it isn’t just about farming, although that is a big part.
2017-First African American female president
Breanna Holbert from California is the first female African-American president. She served as California’s state secretary in 2015-2016. She is also a really cool and inspirational person. (I had the opportunity to meet her and she is great.)
To learn more about the history of FFA, please visit the National FFA Organization's website, https://www.ffa.org/about/what-is-ffa/ffa-history.