Start an Ag Program

How to Join

/Start an Ag Program
Start an Ag Program2018-09-21T15:33:46+00:00

An agricultural education program is necessary to start an FFA chapter. Below you will find 11 steps to establishing a program in your school. Each step includes data, resources and examples that will be useful as you develop and present your proposal.

For more information, contact your Local Program Success Team Representative.

Step Resources
Sample Chapter Constitution
1. Clarify what you want and why you need it.

Every community is different. Start by clarifying your goals and assessing your community’s needs.

What is an agricultural education program?

  • Agricultural Education Program Description (Georgia)
  • National Quality Program Standards – Agricultural Education
  • Agriculture Teacher Job Description
  • Justification for a 12-Month Agriculture Teacher Contract (Oklahoma)

Why does my community need an agricultural education program?

  • Questions to consider

What is your agricultural education program philosophy?

  • Sample Program Philosophies

Is there interest in your program?

  • Tips for administering surveys
  • Sample student survey
  • Sample parent survey
2. Determine what opportunities are available.

Each community will be able to offer different educational opportunities 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:

  • Sample Lesson Plan: Careers in Agriculture
  • Sample Lesson Plan PowerPoint Presentation: Careers in Agriculture

Data on Career and Technical Education:

  • Nevada Career and Technical Education Briefings: Nov., 2007 and April, 2008
  • Texas Career and Technical Education Data

Local Employment and Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) opportunities:

  • Local Job Opportunities Survey
  • USDA’s Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in the U.S. Agricultural System

Dual Class Credit Agreements with Local Colleges and Technical Schools:

  • Dual Credit and Articulation Agreements
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.

  • Key questions in identifying community leaders.
  • Partner Priority List (Excel worksheet)
  • Core Partner Action Plan (Excel worksheet)
5. Clarify state-specific processes and procedures.

Talk to your state’s agricultural education leaders.

  • Contact your state’s department of agricultural education.
  • Ask about your state’s requirements and guidelines for starting an agricultural education program.
  • Sample state application for an agricultural education program (Missouri)
  • Guide to starting a middle school agricultural education program (Georgia)
6. Develop a task list and timeline.

Outline your plan of action. Keep in mind, establishing an agricultural education program can be a lengthy process.

  • Tips for developing a timeline.
  • Sample timeline (Colorado)
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.
    • Advisory Committee Manual
    • Tips for meeting with local school officials.
    • Sample Steering Committee Invitation and Agenda
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.

Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Career Pathways:

  • Animal Systems
  • Food Products and Processing Systems
  • Plant Systems
  • Agribusiness Systems
  • Environmental Service Systems
  • Natural Resources Systems
  • Power, Structural and Technical Systems
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.

  • Tips for presenting to your school board.
  • Sample school board PowerPoint presentation (Missouri)