Overview of FFA

Media Contact:
Duane Brodt
Public and Media Relations Manager

About FFA (PDF)

The National FFA Organization is an integral part of agricultural education by helping make classroom instruction come to life through realistic, hands-on applications. FFA members embrace concepts taught in agricultural science classrooms nationwide, build valuable skills through hands-on experiential learning and each year demonstrate their proficiency in competitions based on real-world agricultural skills.

FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

Today’s FFA

Today’s FFA has evolved in response to expanded opportunities available in the agricultural industry and its needs to hire skilled and competent employees for more than 300 careers. Today’s FFA helps students prepare for careers in business, marketing, science, communications, education, horticulture, production, natural resources, forestry and many other diverse fields.

Agriculture Education

Agricultural education prepares students for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices in the global agriculture, food, fiber and natural resources systems. The agricultural education program provides a well-rounded, practical approach to learning through three components: Classroom education in agricultural topics such as plant and animal sciences, horticulture, forestry, agrimarketing and more; hands-on supervised agricultural career experience such as starting a business or working for an established company; and FFA, which provides leadership opportunities and tests students’ agricultural skills. What are the goals for agricultural education? The goals for agricultural education are premier leadership, personal growth, career success.

Three-Circle Model

Agricultural education students are provided opportunities for leadership development, personal growth and career success. Agricultural education instruction is delivered through three major components, referred to as the Three Circle Model – classroom and laboratory instruction (contextual learning), supervised agricultural experience programs (work-based learning) and student-leadership organizations (National FFA Organization).


FFA was organized nationally in 1928 in Kansas City, Mo. In 1950, Congress granted FFA a federal charter, making it an integral part of public agricultural instruction under the National Vocational Education Acts. FFA receives no federal funding. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs.

What’s an FFA chapter?

FFA operates on local, state and national levels. Student members belong to chapters organized at the local school level. Agriculture educators serve as chapter advisors.

What’s a state FFA association?

Chapters are organized under state associations headed by an advisor and executive secretary, often employees of the state department of education. State FFA associations conduct programs and host annual state FFA conventions.

What’s the National FFA Organization?

The National FFA Organization is governed by a board of directors, charters state associations and provides direction, program materials and support for local chapters and state FFA associations. Its headquarters are in Washington, D.C., and its business operation center is based in Indianapolis.