A modernized National FFA Federal Charter became law Thursday with the signature of the president.
President Donald Trump signed H.R. 439, the “National FFA Organization’s Federal Charter Amendments Act,” after it passed the Senate and the House of Representatives with bipartisan support. Known as Public Law 116-7, the Act updates the FFA Federal Charter in several ways including a guarantee of the relevance of agricultural education in our nation’s schools and its role in preparing students to fill the 235 unique careers in agriculture. The new law also updates the selection process of the National FFA Board of Directors and grants additional power to the National FFA Delegates to make important organizational changes as needed without requiring an act of Congress.
“This is an important step for the future of FFA. The law now specifically recognizes the integral nature of FFA and agricultural education,” said Mark Poeschl, Chief Executive Officer of the National FFA Organization and Foundation. “We’re thankful for the support we received and look forward to our student delegates and board members having new opportunities and flexibility to grow our organization.”
The modernized charter represents the work of many stakeholders of FFA over the last several years to update the previous charter passed in 1998 with technical changes. With passage, delegates will now be responsible for any changes to the organization’s constitution and bylaws in order to align with the amended federal charter, such as selecting board member roles. This process began last summer with a task force appointed by the National FFA Board of Directors and will be a key delegate topic at the 2019 National FFA Convention & Expo.
Public Law 116-7 replaces Public Law 105-225 that amended National FFA’s original federal charter, Public Law 81-740.
Previous Update (Tuesday, Feb. 5) – Bill to Modernize National FFA Charter Clears Senate, House
The U.S. Senate approved a measure to modernize the National FFA Federal Charter Tuesday afternoon, moving the bill one step closer to becoming law and paving the way for needed updates that will allow FFA to build for the future.
H.R. 439 gained approval in the Senate less than two weeks after passage by the House of Representatives. The identical Senate version of the charter bill was introduced by Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) and co-sponsored by Senators Doug Jones (D-AL), James Lankford (R-OK), Christopher Coons (D-DE) and John Hoeven (R-ND).
The bill now requires approval by the president to become law.
Original story (1/23/19) – House Passes Bill to Modernize National FFA Charter
WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation Tuesday, Jan. 22 to modernize the charter of the National FFA Organization sponsored by Congressmen Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA), co-chairs of the Congressional Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus. The bill increases FFA’s autonomy while preserving its longstanding relationship with the U.S. Department of Education.
Of the nearly 100 federally-charted non-profits, FFA is the sole organization that must rely on its partner government agency to select the majority of its board members. H.R. 439, the National FFA Organization’s Federal Charter Amendments Act, reforms how FFA’s board is selected to better reflect the broad array of stakeholders invested in the organization. The bill also gives FFA’s charter an explicit focus on agricultural CTE, which will help better prepare student members for 21st Century careers.
“For decades, FFA has been fundamental to agricultural education in Rhode Island and across the country,” said Congressman Langevin. “Today’s FFA does not only train future farmers, it also helps prepare the next generation of scientists, veterinarians, and business owners. The bill I introduced with Rep. Thompson makes long overdue updates to FFA’s charter and grants the organization increased autonomy so it more accurately reflects its current mission.”
“In its 90-year history, the FFA has been a leader in preparing American youth for careers in the agriculture industry,” said Congressman Thompson. “This bipartisan bill will modernize the charter, promoting more control from within the organization, so it can continue to inspire generations of young agriculture leaders. I thank my friend Rep. Jim Langevin for his leadership on this issue, and I am pleased to see the House unanimously approve these commonsense changes.”
“These amendments let FFA build to meet the needs of 21st Century agriculture,” said Mark Poeschl, Chief Executive Officer of the National FFA Organization and Foundation. “They allow National FFA to self-govern while maintaining our long relationship with the U.S. Department of Education and clearly define the important integral nature of agricultural education, FFA leadership development, and experiential learning for the first time.”
H.R. 439 will ensure FFA maintains a close relationship with the Departments of Education and Agriculture. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. Legislation very similar to H.R. 439 – S. 2439, the National FFA Organization’s Federal Charter Amendments Act, sponsored by Senator Todd Young (R-IN) – passed the Senate in December.