The heart of the National FFA Organization is at the local chapter level. FFA chapter may be chartered in any public school with an agricultural education program. Leadership is provided by student officers who are elected each year by the chapter’s members, and by the agriculture teacher who serves as the advisor for the chapter.
The local chapter is the heartbeat of FFA. Chapters which strive for success keep members active at all levels of the organization and provide students with many opportunities for leadership. The following materials are provided to assist in the management and operation of your local chapter meetings.
Start an FFA Chapter in 11 Steps
It is impossible to have an FFA chapter without a complete agricultural education program. Below you will find 11 steps to establishing a program in your school. Each steps includes data, resources and examples that will be useful to you as you develop and present your proposal.
For more information, contact your Local Program Success Team Representative.
1. Clarify what you want and why you need it.
What is an agricultural education program?
Why does my community need an agricultural education program?
What is your agricultural education program philosophy?
Is there interest in your program?
2. Determine what opportunities are available
Each community will be able to offer different educational opportunies based on the region in which they are located. Research to find the number and types of agricultural jobs and post-secondary education opportunities that are available in your area.
Careers available to agriculture students:
Data on Career and Technical Education:
Local Employment and Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) opportunities:
Dual Class Credit Agreements with Local Colleges and Technical Schools:
3. Develop community support.
Gather information, facts and statistics that will help you make a case for agricultural education in your community.
- Determine which
community members may have an interest in agricultural education. Identify four to six people who can assist with planning and implementation of your proposal.
Survey local businesses.
4. Analyze the local political climate.
Find out who the key decision makers are in your community. Then, determine how best to approach them.
5. Clarify state-specific processes and procedures.
Talk to your state's agricultural education leaders.
6. Develop a tasklist and timeline.
Outline your plan of action. Keep in mind, establishing an agricultural education program can be a lengthy process.
7. Involve key people.
Approach key community leaders and present your case for an agricultural education program.
8. Meet with local officials and set up a steering committee.
Once you have your key community leaders on board, ask them to become part of your local steering committee.
9. Develop a community campaign.
Once you have support from community leaders, it is time to get the entire community involved. Develop presentations for your key audiences. Include facts about agricultural education and FFA, and share information you gathered in" Step 2: Determine what opportunities are available."
10. Determine the type of curriculum needed.
Once you have completed the surveys and assessments in steps 2 and 3, you will know what types of career opportunities your community has to offer to an agriculture student. Use this knowledge to determine your agricultural education program's curriculum.
11. Present your proposal to the school board.
Once you have determined your community's need for an agricultural education program, gathered a group of supporters, and developed a curriculum, it is time to present your proposal to your local school board for final approval.