INDIANAPOLIS – The National FFA Organization announced today that preliminary 2009-2010 membership numbers indicate the organization has shattered its previous all-time membership record and surpassed the 520,000 mark.
As the organization determined delegate representation for the upcoming 2010 National FFA Convention, the current FFA membership stood at 520,284. This record total represents a jump of more than 10,000 over the previous record membership of 509,735 set in 1977.
Dr. W. Dwight Armstrong, national FFA chief operating officer, announced the milestone to National FFA board members, staff and state agricultural education leaders, saying, “Such an achievement certainly reflects the successful efforts of local teachers and state associations to attract more students into the classroom and engage them through FFA participation.”
Armstrong attributed the jump in membership, in part, to the growing popularity of an affiliation membership type that allows FFA advisors to extend FFA membership to all their agriculture students through a flat fee based on chapter size. “The affiliation membership program had only 200 local pilot programs this year,” he said. “Its impact should increase as the affiliate program becomes more widely implemented.”
It is important to note the FFA membership year does not technically end until Aug. 31, 2010. As a result, the final 2009-2010 FFA membership total is likely to be slightly higher than the number announced today. The final record membership total will be released in early September 2010.
The National FFA Organization, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 520,284 student members (and counting)—all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture—as part of 7,429 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The National FFA Organization changed to its present name in 1988 in recognition of the growth and diversity of agriculture and agricultural education. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
The National FFA Organization operates under a Federal Charter granted by the 81st United States Congress, and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. Visit www.ffa.org for more information.