National FFA Organization membership grows by nearly 17,000

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Duane Brodt
Marketing and Communications
National FFA Organization

INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012/National FFA Organization) – From California to North Carolina and everywhere between, FFA is on the grow.

During the 2011-12 school year, 16,939 students joined FFA and raised the organization’s total membership to 557,318 students in grades seven through 12 in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

“Interest in agricultural education continues to grow due to the hard work, dedication and commitment agriculture teachers and state FFA leaders have toward developing our members for the future,” said National FFA Organization CEO Dwight Armstrong. “Our members are developing skills through educational and real-world experiences that will ideally position them to pursue one of more than 300 careers in agriculture.”

Demographically, Texas added more members than any other state last year, growing to 86,482 students. Trailing Texas was Georgia, Colorado, Delaware and Arizona.

Texas also leads the list of the top five largest FFA membership states, followed by California (70,683), Georgia (32,244), Missouri (25,748) and Oklahoma (24,364). Nine of the 10 largest FFA chapters are in California high schools in Fresno, Sacramento, Hanford, Woodland, Atwater, Tulare, Madera, Romoland and Clovis.

FFA chapters were in 18 of the 20 largest U.S. cities last year, including New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia.

“Through my travels this year, I have been quite impressed by the passion that agriculture teachers exude toward their students,” said National FFA President Ryan Best. “They’re working hard every hour in the classroom to fully develop FFA members’ potential for future personal and career success.”

Founded in 1928, 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 operates on local, state and national levels. Student members belong to chapters organized at the local school level. Agriculture educators serve as chapter advisors. Chapters are organized under state associations headed by an advisor and executive secretary, often employees of the state department of education. States conduct programs and host annual conventions.

There are 7,498 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

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About National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 557,318 student members as part of 7,498 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at, on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.