National FFA Update - July 2011

Don't be left out...
The Agri-Entrepreneurship application deadline was July 15. Applications should have been sent directly to the National FFA Center. Previous participants are eligible to compete again if they were not a national winner. Multiple applicants from states and chapters are acceptable. Contact if you have any questions. Other deadlines to note:

National Chapter applications should have been postmarked by July 15.

Agriscience Student applications should have been postmarked by July 15.

Agriscience Fair certification must be complete by Aug. 15.

Agriscience Fair applications must be postmarked by Aug. 15.

2011 CDE Dates to Remember

  • June 1 – Online CDE Declaration due
  • Aug. 15 – Ag Issues CDE Portfolio due (new deadline in 2011)
  • Aug. 15 – Prepared Public Speaking CDE Manuscript due
  • Sept. 15 – Online CDE Certification and Waivers due (new deadline in 2011)
  • Sept. 15 – Ag Communications CDE Proposal, Job Interview CDE Resume/Cover Letter and Marketing Plan CDE Written Plan due
  • Oct. 18 (Noon, Eastern Time) – Online CDE Add/Deletes due (no on-site form to submit)

The Agricultural Career Network is coming soon
The Agricultural Career Network is a new, nationwide system designed to help FFA members document their educational achievements, create robust portfolios and pursue scholarships and employment opportunities. The network is slated to launch in September. More news and updates to come. Stay tuned!

FFA volunteer convention judges needed
The National FFA is accepting judging nominations for the 2011 National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind. Agricultural Proficiency and Stars Over America awards will be judged Thursday, Oct. 20. (Proficiency and Star judges will be invited to an awards luncheon that day.) Agriscience awards will be judged on Thursday, Oct. 20. National Chapter Awards will be judged on Wednesday, Oct. 19. Convention judging is voluntary. FFA does not cover any judging expenses. Submit nominations on the form located here. Questions? Email

Official 2011 National FFA Convention Commemorative Tee “I Believe” available for purchase 
This is the first time FFA has presold an official convention tee. The “I Believe” tees are available for purchase online at Shop FFA. Now your members can travel in comfort wearing the official convention tee and showing their FFA “I Believe” spirit. The convention tee will make it easy for you to keep track of your members while on the road. And if you preorder, you won't have to stand in long lines or hear "sorry we're out of your size" or worst, "sorry we are sold out." The shirts are great looking, come in five fabulous colors and are only $12.50. To receive your commemorative “I Believe” tees before convention, you must place your orders before Oct. 9.

Updated PALS resources now online
Go to to find all of the updated, free PALS lessons. These are great to use in your chapter’s mentoring program to increase both the mentor's and mentee's agricultural literacy and leadership skills. Email with questions.

New Century Farmer students selected for conference in July
Fifty outstanding young people were recently selected to participate in the 2011 New Century Farmer conference. Participants representing 24 states will take part in the intensive seminar July 24-30 in Johnston, Iowa. They will learn from each other and industry experts during a series of workshops and sessions. Topics will include the global marketplace, farm financing, demographic trends and risk management. New Century Farmers will hear from motivating and informative keynote speakers who will educate them on the risks and rewards involved with agriculture production. I n addition to classroom learning, students will experience the latest developments in agricultural technology. Click here for the list of students selected to participate in this year’s program.

Lesson plans supplementing the Official Student Handbook Advisor’s Guide DVD available free online
Available on Shop FFA, the Official Student Handbook Advisor's Guide DVD is a new tool you can use to elicit excitement and FFA spirit in your classroom. The DVD includes the history of FFA, basic FFA information, opening and closing ceremony samples, the FFA Creed and more.

Lesson plans and learning materials that complement the DVD can be downloaded for free online at These free materials, including lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, worksheets, questionnaires, activity sheets and more, help students learn the ins and outs of FFA.

You Talk. We Listen.
Last fall, the National FFA Organization sought feedback from stakeholders on some of the organization’s key programs. The organization listened and has been working on responding to the issues that were identified. For the most up-to-date information on how we are addressing these issues, visit the You Talk. We Listen webpage on The website will continually be updated as progress is made on each initiative and will also allow you to continue to share your thoughts and concerns with the organization.

Don't pass up this deal!
We have a great offer available until Aug. 26. You can receive 25 copies of the new Official FFA Student Handbook and 25 copies of the FFA Official Manual for just $200.Your order will be shipped to you free and also include a free Official FFA Student Handbook Advisor’s Guide DVD. To place your order today, visit Shop FFA.

Announcing the 2011 Convention Tee Design Contest
Want to create a one-of-a-kind convention tee for the 84th National FFA Convention? The FFA Design Studio is open to all FFA members and chapters beginning July 21. Chapters and members will have until Sept. 2 to submit designs honoring this year’s convention.  All designs must be created using the FFA Design Studio; this easy-to-use website on Shop FFA has all the tools you need to create the most perfect convention tee. Choose from three tee styles, multiple colors and hundreds of design elements including the “I Believe” theme. For a complete listing of rules, go to Shop FFA.

$3 cotton surcharge on official FFA jacket begins Sept. 1
The official FFA jacket will cost an additional $3 starting Sept. 1 due to the rising cost of cotton. This surcharge is a direct result of an ongoing global cotton shortage due to natural disasters across Asia in the last 12 months. This, coupled with the increased demand for cotton in growing markets, has resulted in a 68 percent increase in the cost of corduroy compared to one year ago.

The standard official FFA jacket (Item Nos. 100 and 103) will cost $49 + $3 surcharge during the 2011-2012 school year. For the 2012-13 school year, based on current cotton prices, FFA anticipates a surcharge ranging from $4 - $6.50 per jacket. 

Be assured that the additional $3 is a direct pass through of the raw cotton increase required to produce the iconic blue corduroy jacket.  Ultimately our intent is to drop the cotton surcharge once the cost of cotton normalizes, which is expected in the next 12-24 months.

FFA official jacket prices (effective Sept. 1, 2011):

  • Standard jacket:  $49 + $3 cotton surcharge.
  • Domestic required jacket: $59 + $3 cotton surcharge.
  • Tailored jacket: $69 + $3 cotton surcharge.
  • Set of 10 Jackets: $450 + $30 cotton surcharge.
  • Set of 10 Jackets (new chapters): $400 + $30 cotton surcharge.

To purchase an official FFA jacket, visit Shop FFA. Looking for more than one jacket? Consider the 10 Official Jackets Promotional Set, a $40 savings.

Be on the lookout for the Blue Look Book
This fall, National FFA will no longer produce the Blue apparel catalog. Instead, all members will receive the Blue Look Book, a 12-page insert in the Fall issue of the newly redesigned FFA New Horizons. The look book will feature the National FFA Officers in select apparel and accessories, with all products available online at Shop FFA.

New arrivals at Shop FFA
Visit the new arrivals section on Shop FFA! This month's hot feature is FFA Wild Wear – spirit wear with a flair for the wild. Zebras, leopards and giraffes – Oh my!

Handbook, manual and posters are available
The 2011-2012 Official FFA Manual, the Official FFA Student Handbook and Student Handbook Posters are now available. The handbook has been reorganized and streamlined with classroom instruction in mind. The handbook features hundreds of photos demonstrating FFA in action and several profiles of former members.
To better reflect classroom needs, the Official Student Handbook Advisors Guide DVD replaces the old Advisor's Guide to the FFA Student Handbook. This newly developed DVD includes 25 minutes of content broken into nine chapters and features the history of FFA, basic FFA knowledge, examples of opening and closing ceremonies, recitation of the FFA Creed and more! Lesson plans and PowerPoint presentations that complement the handbook can be found online at

Order Today – Power Pack of Leadership Essentials – this special offer ends Aug. 31.
Looking for classroom resources to improve your chapter operations? Power Pack of Leadership Essentials offers 10 products for $139, a 20 percent savings. Products include: Leadership on the Go, Mpower, Strategies for Great Teaching, FFA Game – Blue Edition, 2011 Official FFA Student Handbook, Official Student Handbook Advisors Guide DVD, and the 2011-2012 Official FFA Manual.  To order, go to Shop FFA or call 888-332-2668 and ask your FFA customer service repres