50 Years of Women in FFA2019-11-15T11:03:07-05:00

Celebrating 50 Years of Women in FFA

It’s been 50 years since the 1969 National FFA Convention when women gained full, national membership in FFA.

In 1969 women were officially allowed membership into the National FFA Organization. In the 50 years since the formal acceptance of female membership, women have become an integral part of the organization. Women have achieved significant milestones, and they continue to shape the future of agricultural education and the industry of agriculture.

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  • Anita Decker 800x469
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  • Breanna Holbert
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  • Karlene Lindow
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Historical Timeline of Women in FFA

  • 1954

    1954 - Chapter Sweethearts

    Prior to full membership, women were selected as “Chapter Sweethearts.” Here are Texas FFA sweetheart Martha Banks and Texas FFA president David Risinger in 1954.

  • 1970

    1970 - First Female Delegates

    New York’s Anita Decker and New Jersey’s Patricia Krowicki become the first two female delegates to the national convention.

  • 1971

    Sharon Staley of the White River FFA Chapter in Washington models the first official girl’s FFA jacket.

  • 1973

    1973 - American Farmer Degrees

    First American Farmer Degrees are awarded to women in 1973.

  • 1976

    1976 - Julie Smiley, Washington is elected national FFA vice president and is the first female to hold a national FFA office.

    Julie Smiley from Washington is elected national FFA vice president and is the first female to hold a national FFA office.

  • 1977

    1977-78 - National Officers Including Peg Armstrong, Iowa (back row, left)

    The 1977-78 national officers included Peg Armstrong of Iowa (back row, left).

  • 1979

    1979-80 - National Officers Included Elin Duckworth, Arizona

    The 1979-80 national officers included Elin Duckworth of Arizona (back row, left).

  • 1979

    1979

    Christe Peterson from Wisconsin wins the first Extemporaneous Public Speaking Event.

  • 1980

    1980 - Horticulture Demonstration

    Women members participate in a horticulture demonstration.

  • 1982

    1982 - First Female National FFA President

    Jan Eberly from California becomes the first female national FFA president.

  • 1988

    1988 - 3 Millionth FFA Jacket

    Evadale, Texas, member Chrystal McDaniel poses with the 3 millionth FFA jacket.

  • 2002

    2002 - Karlene Lindow, Named the American Star Farmer

    Karlene Lindow shattered another glass ceiling for women in FFA in 2002 when she was named the American Star Farmer. She raised hogs in Chili, Wis., and her jacket now hangs in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

  • 2017

    2017 - Breanna Holbert from California is the first African-American female to be elected national FFA president.

    Breanna Holbert from California is the first African-American female to be elected national FFA president.