Starting an FFA Alumni affiliate in your community

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By the National FFA Alumni Association

The possibility for tremendous growth and stronger community engagement in your FFA chapter and agricultural program is very high when you have an FFA Alumni affiliate chartered or reactivated. The process requires clearing a few hurdles, but the outcome is more than worth the effort.

Former FFA members and interested adults are a natural resource of help and support. An FFA Alumni affiliate can unify the local community to support agricultural education and FFA activities and provide valuable assistance to agriculture advisors. With the FFA advisor coordinating activities, FFA Alumni can provide hands, hearts and minds to ensuring success.

To charter a local FFA Alumni affiliate, meet and maintain these qualifications:

  1. Have at least 10 members who have paid National FFA Alumni member dues and State FFA Alumni dues (if applicable).
  2. Draft constitution/bylaws in harmony with the National FFA Alumni Bylaws.
  3. Elect a council of officers.
  4. Complete the Application for Local Charter.
  5. Submit the completed Application for Local Charter, the Constitution/Bylaws, completed roster, and national and state dues for at least 10 members to your State FFA Alumni Association (if applicable). Your State FFA Alumni Association will forward all forms and documents to the National FFA Alumni Association. Upon receipt of all items, the National FFA Alumni Association will officially charter the new affiliate by issuing an affiliate number, a charter certificate and a scroll.

To reactivate an FFA Alumni affiliate:

  1. Update your constitution/bylaws (if inactive for over two years).
  2. Elect new council officers.
  3. Pay state and national dues.
  4. Submit a copy of the updated constitution/bylaws, listing of elected officers, and state and national dues for at least 10 members to your State FFA Alumni Association (if applicable).

FFA Alumni affiliate vs. FFA chapter booster clubs

Many people will wonder why it’s important to go through the effort of establishing a local FFA Alumni affiliate and sending state and national dues. It’s a valid question, but there are several reasons FFA Alumni membership provides greater benefits over a standard booster club.

An FFA Alumni affiliate is a booster club with a structure. Due to affiliation with the national organization, a local FFA Alumni affiliate is required to operate under a structured constitution and bylaws. This provides backing and support when questions arise in any area – including advisor role, council role, membership, etc. This lends validity to the organization and allows people to engage in support of your local program no matter where they reside.

Additionally, an FFA Alumni affiliate provides a support system that a booster club lacks. Resources flow from national and state to support the local level including awards, scholarships and grants. Forming an FFA Alumni affiliate gives you the opportunity to receive recognition for your work.

FFA Alumni membership also increases the benefits available to those who support your chapter on a local level. The National FFA Alumni Association and many states host events and conferences that include opportunities for networking, personal development and skill development. Plus, being a part of the FFA Alumni family allows you to recognize your outstanding volunteers through a variety of national and state recognition programs. Chartered and active FFA Alumni affiliates also enjoy perks such as official use of the FFA Alumni logo and tax exempt status as a subsidiary of the National FFA Organization.

Finally, and sometimes most importantly, FFA Alumni affiliates provide an independent service to your FFA chapter outside of school governance. Booster clubs and their accounts are often subject to school use (including fund reallocation to other programs), while an FFA Alumni affiliate operates completely autonomous. This allows an FFA Alumni affiliate to operate their own bank accounts and ensure all funds generated through their efforts are distributed appropriately to your FFA chapter and agriculture program as determined by the FFA Alumni affiliate’s constitution and bylaws.

For a comprehensive guide on starting or reactivating your FFA Alumni affiliate, the National FFA Alumni Association offers a 30-page comprehensive guide outlining every step of the process with tips and help at every turn. To view, click here: https://www.ffa.org/documents/alum_startingaffiliatehandbook.pdf.