The Desert Edge FFA Chapter in Arizona raises chickens and donates the eggs to charity. Members of the Hernando FFA Chapter in Florida are restoring coastal wetlands. Each spring, Choteau FFA members in Montana plants a community garden. The Woodbury FFA Chapter in Vermont hosts pet adoptions in their hometown.
FFA chapters like these all across the nation grow leaders. They strengthen communities. And they support the local agriculture industry. An FFA chapter is the student organization arm of a school-based agricultural education program. That’s why FFA is considered intracurricular and not a “club.” Students learn about an area of agriculture that interests them, then they gain hands-on experience in that field through FFA.
Starting an Agricultural Education Program and FFA Chapter
To start an FFA chapter, you first begin by establishing an agricultural education program at your school. It’s even possible that a program once existed at your school and now is a prime time for relaunch.
The following 8 steps (with helpful PDF downloads) will help you navigate the process for establishing a quality ag education program. We definitely encourage you to reach out to available resources to help you along the journey – the National FFA Local Program Success Team and Agricultural Education staff within your state (part of your state’s Department of Education).
1. Learn about agricultural education.
Agricultural education programs and FFA chapters are structured differently than most school courses. As the local champion for this new program, you’ll need a deep understanding of the integrated agricultural education model. Start with these resources: