FFA Buzz

Agri-Entrepreneurship program on hold
The National FFA Organization will not offer the Agri-Entrepreneurship program in 2012. We will spend this next year evaluating this program’s format and impact. State staff and advisors will be notified whether the program will continue or be revised for 2013. If you have any questions, contact Rebecca Carter, rcarter@ffa.org or 317-802-4271.

Got Scholarships? FFA Does!
The National FFA Scholarship program went live Nov. 15. This year, our top three scholarship sponsors are Ford, Cargill and AGCO. The 2012 online scholarship application and a variety of helpful tools are now available at www.ffa.org/scholarships. Review eligibility requirements in the 2012 Guidebook, also available at www.ffa.org/scholarships. Remember: Applications must be submitted online by 5 p.m. EST Feb. 15, 2012. A completed signature page, postmarked no later than Feb. 22, 2012, is required to complete eligibility.

Get your chapter Spurs
FFA chapters that did not receive their National Chapter Spur at the 84th National FFA Convention may contact Jenna Clark, jclark@ffa.org. Email your chapter name, chapter number and address to her to obtain your 2011 Spur.

New 2012 proficiency award areas available
Check out the new 2012 proficiency award areas. We have updated the proficiency award area descriptions; read them carefully to insure your supervised agricultural experiences fits into the correct category. For questions contact Rebecca Carter, rcarter@ffa.org or (317) 802-4271.

Attention National FFA Group Exemption Affiliates
On Jan. 1, 2012, National FFA will switch from fiscal year dates of Sept. 1 – Aug. 31, to calendar year, Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Fiscal year dates will not be changed for organizations currently linked to the National FFA group exemption with the IRS. Organizations added to the group exemption after Jan. 1, 2012, will have the calendar fiscal year dates to match the organization. If you would like to change your fiscal year dates to match the National FFA, or if you are added after Jan. 1, 2012, and would like different fiscal year dates than calendar year, contact the IRS, (877)829-5500.

You talked and we listened: Use school purchase orders online at Shop FFA 24/7
To become authorized to use school purchase orders on the Shop FFA online store, you will need to create a Shop FFA online chapter account. Please note if you have an existing Shop FFA account but have never used a purchase order, you will need to create a new account.

  • Go to www.ffa.org/ and click on Shop.
  • Then click “Log In” (located in the upper-middle banner.)
  • Then select the “Click Here” button.
  • Follow the instruction to create a new account.
    • Make sure to check the “Yes” from the pull down box labeled “As an advisor, I am authorized to use POs.”
    • Make sure to include your chapter ID number and chapter address.
  • FFA customer serve staff will verify the information and send you an email confirming your Shop FFA online chapter account status.
  • Please allow up to five business days to receive your Shop FFA online chapter account status.

You may also call FFA customer service, 888-332-2668, to establish a Shop FFA online chapter account.

FFA Week Reminder – Free Plaque Engraving – Everyday
FFA Week is Feb. 18-25, 2012; do you need a special thank you for your sponsors or volunteers? FFA plaques are the perfect solution, and engraving is always free. FFA Week will be here before you know it – order early and avoid the rush.

CONNECT! Past. Present. Future.
If you’ve been influenced by FFA, sign up for CONNCECT! We want to hear from current members, former members and everyone else whose lives have been touched by FFA. Share your stories—past and present—and let us know how FFA has impacted your life! CONNECT with FFA, and you’ll also get a chance to win your choice of great rewards. Plus, let your family and friends know, and you’ll increase your chances of winning, through December 2011. Register at www.ffa.org/connect.

NEW! Grant Opportunity to Help Fight Hunger
FFA is excited to announce a new grant opportunity for chapters, FFA: Food For All! Chapters may apply for up to $2,500 to support year-long service-learning projects focused on developing and implementing sustainable hunger programs. Applications are due Dec. 15. Project concepts include, but are not limited to; community gardens, raising broilers or tilapia and educational outreach. Visit the FFA: Food For All website for additional information. Grants are provided through funding from Farmers Feeding the World and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

Pledge to BMOR
National FFA is partnering with America’s Promise in the State Farm 26 Seconds campaign, which is an awareness campaign centered around the high school dropout crisis. You can help make a difference by participating in the monthly challenges located at www.facebook.com/26seconds. Log on and choose FFA as your affiliation. Complete the monthly challenges, and you could win some cool prizes while helping FFA support leadership education. Each month the organization with the highest participation rate may receive funds to help support its mission. Leaders stays in school…FFA leaders are always willing to BMOR!

New FFA Alumni impact video available
During the three opening sessions at the national FFA convention, FFA Alumni had the opportunity to be featured on the main stage for our 40th anniversary. During that time, we played a new video that demonstrates the impact FFA Alumni is making at the local, state and national levels. After the video, the National FFA Creed was spoken by five FFA Alumni members; the presentation concluded with comments from Chase Rose, past national FFA officer and current National FFA Alumni Council member, on the impact FFA Alumni have made in his life. Watch all of this online now! You can also watch the FFA Alumni Impact video online.

Delegates vote in favor of new FFA Alumni Associate membership type

National FFA Alumni Convention Delegates voted to adopt the following Amendment to the National FFA Alumni Bylaws:

Article IV
Section II. Types of Membership

Associate Membership (NEW Addition)

  1. Is a no-cost national membership that is provided to potential members annually.
  2. Associate membership will entitle the member to quarterly information from the National FFA Alumni Association.
  3. Associate members will not be included in any rebate or awards program.
  4. There will be a five-year limit on the associate membership.

Annual Membership

  1. All annual members have equal class and privileges; there are no associate, honorary, privileged or lesser class of membership.

Note: This new associate membership type will go into effect for the 2012-2013 membership year, starting Sept. 1, 2012. Associate members will not have voting/delegate privileges. Contact alumni@ffa.org or 317-802-4332 with questions.

National FFA Alumni award results
View all National FFA Alumni award recipients recognized at the National FFA Alumni Convention! All checks (awards, grants, rebates, etc.) should have been received by Dec. 1.

NEW National FFA Alumni Council Members Elected
Anita Schneider of Kansas was elected President-Elect at the 2011 National FFA Alumni Convention in Indianapolis on Oct. 21. Also elected to the National FFA Alumni Council as Members-At-Large were Larry Case of Virginia and Andrea Stevenson of Florida. For contact information on the National FFA Alumni Council, click here. To learn more about these new representatives, visit the National FFA Alumni Blog where each candidate shared their vision and purpose prior to the convention elections.

Get your photos from the National FFA Alumni 40th anniversary celebration and National FFA Alumni Convention
If you weren’t able to join us for the 40th anniversary celebration during national convention, check out these photos! Photos from the week of convention can be found on Flickr.

National FFA Alumni Staffing Update
Executive Director Frank Saldana has transitioned to the National FFA Local Program Support team. Until a new individual is hired, Tony Small, National FFA partner services division director, will serve as interim director of the National FFA Alumni Association. Daily operations will continue to be handled by the National FFA Alumni staff. We will keep you informed once the job announcement has been posted and once the position has been filled. Feel free to contact alumni staff or Small with any questions or concerns.

Tony Small, tsmall@ffa.org or 317-802-4300

Phyllis McDonald, pmcdonald@ffa.org or 317-802-4332

Amber Smyer, asmymer@ffa.org or 317-802-4294

Lucy Whitehead, lwhitehead@ffa.org or 317-802-4420

2011-2012 National FFA Alumni Membership Challenge
This past year we challenged each state to help meet our long-term goal of having an active local FFA Alumni affiliate for every FFA chapter by increasing the number of affiliates in their state by 11 percent in 2011. We were overwhelmed with the response to the challenge with 143 new/reactivating affiliates in the year. Seventeen states met the 11 percent growth challenge and as a result received a corduroy banner recognizing their accomplishment. To keep the momentum going, we are issuing a new recognition program for state associations. Each year that you increase the number of affiliates within your state by 10 percent, you’ll receive a year pin to be added to your personalized corduroy banner, recognizing your efforts to help us reach our long-term goal to serve every FFA chapter. Contact asmyer@ffa.org with any questions.

National FFA Alumni 2011-2012 Webinar Series announced!
At the end of November, we launched the 2011-2012 National FFA Alumni Webinar Series! Be sure to pass the word along to state and local FFA Alumni leaders that this educational series is available. If you are unable to participate in an evening webinar, each session is recorded and available to be viewed online. Check out past webinar sessions.

FFA Alumni “Present” page updated
Check out the FFA Alumni “Present” page, which currently features: Nebraska FFA Alumni, Idaho FFA Alumni and FFA Foundation, Pennsylvania FFA Alumni, and Bayou Area FFA Alumni in Louisiana! Have a project, person or program you’d like featured for your region? Send an email to asmyer@ffa.org.