FFA Timeline

Printable Copy

  • 1917
  • 1925
  • 1926
  • 1927
  • 1928
  • 1929
  • 1930
  • 1933
  • 1935
  • 1937
  • 1939
  • 1942
  • 1944
  • 1947
  • 1948
  • 1949
  • 1950
  • 1952
  • 1953
  • 1957
  • 1958
  • 1959
  • 1965
  • 1966
  • 1968
  • 1969
  • 1971
  • 1973
  • 1974
  • 1975
  • 1976
  • 1978
  • 1979
  • 1980
  • 1982
  • 1987
  • 1988
  • 1989
  • 1990
  • 1991
  • 1994
  • 1996
  • 1997
  • 1998
  • 1999
  • 2000
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2004
  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 1917

    The Smith-Hughes National Vocational Education Act (both Smith and Hughes were Georgia Congressmen) established vocational agriculture courses.

  • 1925

    Virginia Tech agricultural education teacher educators Henry Groseclose, Harry Sanders, Walter S. Newman and Edmund C. Magill organized the Future Farmers of Virginia for boys in agriculture classes. The FFV served as the model for the Future Farmers of America.

  • 1926

    The American Royal Livestock Show invited vocational agriculture students to participate in national livestock judging contests in Kansas City, Mo.

  • 1927

    G.W. Owens, teacher-trainer at Virginia State College, and Dr. H.O. Sargent, federal agent for agricultural education for African-Americans, U.S. Office of Education, wrote the first constitution and bylaws of the New Farmers of Virginia, an organization for African-American agriculture students.

  • 1928

    Future Farmers of America established in Kansas City, Mo.

    First National FFA Convention held in Kansas City: 33 delegates from 18 states in attendance.

    Leslie Applegate of New Jersey selected as the first national FFA president.

    First sectional gathering of New Farmers of America members held.

  • 1929

    National blue and corn gold adopted as official colors.

    Carlton Patton of Arkansas named first Star Farmer of America, one of the first awards created by FFA.

    At the Second National FFA Convention in November 1929, 33 states represented by 64 delegates.

    Thirty-five state associations with approximately 1,500 chapters and 30,000 members affiliated with the national organization.

  • 1930

    Official FFA Creed, written by E.M. Tiffany, adopted.

    First National Public Speaking event held. Winner: Edward Drace, Missouri.

    First Official Dress uniform adopted: dark blue shirt, blue or white pants, blue cap and yellow tie.

    Delegates restricted membership to boys only.

    First Official FFA Manual printed.

  • 1933

    Blue corduroy jacket adopted as Official Dress.

    A group of FFA officers and members made a pilgrimage to Washington, D.C., where they were greeted on the White House lawn by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

  • 1935

    New Farmers of America founded in Tuskegee, Ala.

    Active FFA membership exceeded 100,000 members.

  • 1937

    During national convention, action taken to establish a national FFA camp and leadership training school in Washington, D.C.

  • 1939

    28.5 acres of land purchased near Alexandria, Va., for the first FFA-owned national headquarters; the land was part of George Washington’s estate.

    Identical twins Albert and Arthur Lacy of Hondo, Texas, become the only members ever to share the title of Star Farmer of America.

    The “H.O. Sargent Trophy Award” was created to honor H.O. Sargent’s commitment to helping NFA members achieve success and leadership in agriculture.

  • 1942

    During World War II, when tens of thousands of FFA members served in the armed services, national FFA conventions were streamlined events where only delegates and award winners attend. In 1942, just 217 people attended the convention.

  • 1944

    Future Farmers of America Foundation formed to raise money from business, industry, government, individuals and sponsors for FFA programs and activities.

    138,548 FFA members were serving in the Armed Services in World War II.

    First National FFA Agriculture Proficiency Award presented for Agricultural Mechanics.

  • 1947

    First National FFA Band performed at national FFA convention.

  • 1948

    First FFA Chorus and National FFA Talent program held at national FFA convention.

    National FFA Supply Service began operation.

    Record jump in membership from 238,269 in 1947 to 260,300 in 1948; so many members attended the 20th National FFA Convention that a folding-cot hotel was set up in the basement of the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City.

    First FFA Week celebrated during the week of George Washington’s birthday.

  • 1949

    First International Exchange Program for FFA members began with Young Farmers Club of Great Britain.

  • 1950

    A bill was passed by the 81st Congress of the United States that granted FFA a federal charter and specified that a U.S. Department of Education staff member be the national FFA advisor. On Aug. 30, President Harry S. Truman signed the bill, and it became Public Law 81-740.

  • 1952

    First issue of The National Future Farmer magazine published.

  • 1953

    The U.S. Post Office Department issued a special stamp to celebrate the 25th anniversary of FFA.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first president to speak at a national FFA convention.

  • 1957

    Former President Harry S. Truman spoke during the national convention.

  • 1958

    The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis presented NFA with a Certificate of Appreciation.

  • 1959

    First National FFA Center dedicated in Alexandria, Va., on land that had originally been used as the national FFA camp.

  • 1965

    New Farmers of America merged with the Future Farmers of America.

  • 1966

    First FFA National Agricultural Career Show held at national FFA convention to highlight educational and career opportunities in agriculture.

  • 1968

    President Richard Nixon attended national FFA convention in Kansas City.

  • 1969

    FFA opened membership to girls, making it possible for them to hold office and participate in competitive events at regional and national levels.

    First National Star in Agribusiness, Ken Dunagan from Arizona, named.

    Washington Conference (now called the Washington Leadership Conference) began.

    Delegate body of the national FFA convention established alumni class of membership as part of the constitution.

  • 1971

    The National FFA Alumni Association chartered as an affiliate of the National FFA Organization.

  • 1973

    FFA Official Dress standards created.

  • 1974

    Fred McClure from Texas was the first African-American elected to a national FFA office.

    President Gerald Ford was the guest speaker at national FFA convention; the speech was carried live on network television.

  • 1975

    Food For America program launched.

    Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter – a former FFA member – spoke at the national FFA convention.

  • 1976

    Julie Smiley of Washington was the first female elected to a national office.

    Alaska became the last of the 50 states to obtain a national charter.

  • 1978

    President Jimmy Carter addressed the 51st National FFA Convention.

  • 1979

    First Extemporaneous Public Speaking Event held and won by Christe Peterson of Wisconsin.

  • 1980

    The National FFA Foundation raised $1 million in one year for the first time.

  • 1982

    Jan Eberly, from California, became the first female national FFA president.

  • 1987

    Vice President George H. W. Bush spoke at national convention; Bush was elected president in 1988.

  • 1988

    Future Farmers of America changed its name to the National FFA Organization to reflect the growing diversity in the industry of agriculture.

    Seventh and eighth grade students permitted to become FFA members.

    Agriscience Student Recognition Program introduced.

  • 1989

    The National Future Farmer magazine changed its name to FFA New Horizons.

  • 1990

    Partners in Active Learning Support program launched.

  • 1991

    Chapters in the Virgin Islands and Guam, along with five chapters in Micronesia, chartered.

  • 1994

    Corey Flournoy, from Illinois, was the first African-American to be elected national FFA president; he was also the first urban student leader.

  • 1996

    H.O. Sargent Award reinstated, promoting diversity among chapters.

    FFA announced its decision to move the National FFA Center from Alexandria, Va., to Indianapolis, Ind.

    FFA announced its decision to move the national FFA convention from Kansas City, Mo., to Louisville, Ky.

    The official website for FFA, www.FFA.org, debuted.

  • 1997

    First Agri-Entrepreneurship Awards presented.

  • 1998

    National FFA Center in Indianapolis, Ind., dedicated July 20.

    Agricultural Education National Headquarters dedicated in Alexandria, Va.

    National convention held in Kansas City, Mo., for the last time.

    Jose Santiago elected to national office; he was the first member from Puerto Rico to serve as a national officer.

    The 105th Congress of the United States reviewed and passed technical amendments to Public Law 81-740 (Aug. 30, 1950). Public Law 105-225 passed on Aug. 12.

  • 1999

    72nd National FFA Convention held in Louisville, Ky., for the first time.

    First National Creed Speaking event held. Winner: Michael Van Winkle, Arkansas.

  • 2000

    Delegates at the national FFA convention approved the Discovery FFA Degree for middle school students.

    The National FFA Archives at Indiana University Purdue University in Indianapolis opened.

  • 2001

    First National Star in Agriscience named: Steven Offer, Wisconsin.

    First National Star in Agricultural Placement named: Nicholas Streff, South Dakota.

  • 2002

    First female Star Farmer named: Karlene Lindow, Wisconsin.

    Official Dress standards revised.

  • 2003

    Javier Moreno, Puerto Rico, elected national president; he became the first person with a native language other than English and the first Puerto Rican elected as national FFA president.

  • 2004

    First live webcast of national FFA convention premiered on www.FFA.org.

  • 2005

    National FFA launched Seeds of Hope, a fundraising campaign to rebuild Gulf Coast states’ agricultural education and FFA programs following Hurricane Katrina; $835,699 in donations distributed to affected programs.

    The National FFA Foundation broke the $10 million mark in raising money for FFA programs and services.

  • 2006

    National FFA Foundation receives first $1 million contribution from the Ford Motor Company.

    79th National FFA Convention held in Indianapolis, Ind., for the first time, with 54,489 in attendance.

    Endorsement of agricultural education’s long-range goal of 10,000 quality agricultural education programs by 2015, where every student is a member of FFA and has a relevant SAE.

  • 2007

    The National FFA Merchandise Center opened its doors in Indianapolis, Ind.

    Membership broke the half-million mark with 500,823 members in 7,358 chapters.

    FFA New Horizons added online feature, www.FFAnewhorizons.org.

  • 2008

    FFA member networking site FFA Nation launched.

    Board made the decision to rotate the national convention between Louisville and Indianapolis, beginning with Louisville in 2013.

  • 2009

    FFA celebrated 40 years of women in the organization.

  • 2010

    Dr. Larry Case retired after 26 years as national FFA advisor.

    FFA celebrated the 75th anniversary of the founding of New Farmers of America during the 83rd National FFA Convention.

    Six college-age FFA members traveled to Zambia for the FFA Global Outreach: Africa program.

    FFA members earned a record 3,449 American FFA Degrees.

  • 2011

    The National FFA Alumni Association celebrated its 40th anniversary.

    FFA celebrated Native Americans in FFA, agriculture and agricultural education during the 84th National FFA Convention.

    Steve A. Brown named national advisor.

    The Agricultural Career Network launched.

  • 2012

    Membership hit all-time high with 557,318 members in 7,498 chapters.

    The National FFA Foundation received a record of more than $16.2 million in support of FFA.

    The 85th National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis had a record attendance of 56,167 members, teachers, supporters and guests.

    FFA members and supporters packed 1,005,048 meals during the convention and expo’s FFA Rally to Fight Hunger.

    FFA celebrated Latinos/Hispanics in FFA, agriculture and agricultural education during the convention and expo.

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