1917The Smith-Hughes National Vocational Education Act (both Smith and Hughes were Georgia
Congressmen) established vocational agriculture courses.
1925Virginia Tech agricultural education teacher educators Henry Groseclose, Harry Sanders, Walter S.
Newman and Edmund C. Magill organized the Future Farmers of Virginia for boys in agriculture classes.
The FFV served as the model for the Future Farmers of America.
1926The American Royal Livestock Show invited vocational agriculture students to participate in national
livestock judging contests in Kansas City, Mo.
1927G.W. Owens, teacher-trainer at Virginia State College, and Dr. H.O. Sargent, federal agent for
agricultural education for African-Americans, U.S. Office of Education, wrote the first constitution and
bylaws of the New Farmers of Virginia, an organization for African-American agriculture students.
1928Future Farmers of America established in Kansas City, Mo.
• First National FFA Convention held in Kansas City: 33 delegates from 18 states in attendance.
• Leslie Applegate of New Jersey selected as the first national FFA president.
• First sectional gathering of New Farmers of America members held.
1929National blue and corn gold adopted as official colors.
1930• Official FFA Creed, written by E.M. Tiffany, adopted.
• First National Public Speaking event held. Winner: Edward Drace, Missouri.
• First Official Dress uniform adopted: dark blue shirt, blue or white pants, blue cap and yellow tie.
• Delegates restricted membership to boys only.
•First Official FFA Manual printed.
1933Blue corduroy jacket adopted as Official Dress.
• A group of FFA officers and members made a pilgrimage to Washington, D.C., where they were
greeted on the White House lawn by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1935New Farmers of America founded in Tuskegee, Ala.
• Active FFA membership exceeded 100,000 members.
1937During national convention, action taken to establish a national FFA camp and leadership training
school in Washington, D.C.
193928.5 acres of land purchased near Alexandria, Va., for the first FFA-owned national headquarters; the
land was part of George Washington’s estate.
• Identical twins Albert and Arthur Lacy of Hondo, Texas, become the only members ever to share the
title of Star Farmer of America.
• The “H.O. Sargent Trophy Award” was created to honor H.O. Sargent’s commitment to helping NFA
members achieve success and leadership in agriculture.
1942During World War II, when tens of thousands of FFA members served in the armed services, national
FFA conventions were streamlined events where only delegates and award winners attend. In 1942, just
217 people attended the convention.
1944Future Farmers of America Foundation formed to raise money from business, industry, government,
individuals and sponsors for FFA programs and activities.
• 138,548 FFA members were serving in the Armed Services in World War II.
• First National FFA Agriculture Proficiency Award presented for Agricultural Mechanics.
1947First National FFA Band performed at national FFA convention.
1948First FFA Chorus and National FFA Talent program held at national FFA convention.
• National FFA Supply Service began operation.
• Record jump in membership from 238,269 in 1947 to 260,300 in 1948; so many members attended
the 20th National FFA Convention that a folding-cot hotel was set up in the basement of the Municipal
Auditorium in Kansas City.
• First FFA Week celebrated during the week of George Washington’s birthday
1949First International Exchange Program for FFA members began with Young Farmers Club of Great
1950A bill was passed by the 81st Congress of the United States that granted FFA a federal charter and
specified that a U.S. Department of Education staff member be the national FFA advisor. On Aug. 30,
President Harry S. Truman signed the bill, and it became Public Law 81-740.
1952First issue of The National Future Farmer magazine published
1953The U.S. Post Office Department issued a special stamp to celebrate the 25th anniversary of FFA.
• President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first president to speak at a national FFA convention.
1957Former President Harry S. Truman spoke during the national convention.
1958The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis presented NFA with a Certificate of Appreciation.
1959First National FFA Center dedicated in Alexandria, Va., on land that had originally been used as the
national FFA camp.
1965• New Farmers of America merged with the Future Farmers of America.
1966First FFA National Agricultural Career Show held at national FFA convention to highlight educational
and career opportunities in agriculture.
1968President Richard Nixon attended national FFA convention in Kansas City
1969FFA opened membership to girls, making it possible for them to hold office and participate in
competitive events at regional and national levels.
• First National Star in Agribusiness, Ken Dunagan from Arizona, named.
• Washington Conference (now called the Washington Leadership Conference) began.
• Delegate body of the national FFA convention established alumni class of membership as part of the
1971The National FFA Alumni Association chartered as an affiliate of the National FFA Organization.
1973FFA Official Dress standards created.
1974Fred McClure from Texas was the first African-American elected to a national FFA office.
• President Gerald Ford was the guest speaker at national FFA convention; the speech
was carried live on network television.
1975Food For America program launched.
• Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter – a former FFA member – spoke at the national FFA convention.
1976Julie Smiley of Washington was the first female elected to a national office.
• Alaska became the last of the 50 states to obtain a national charter.
1978President Jimmy Carter addressed the 51st National FFA Convention.
1979First Extemporaneous Public Speaking Event held and won by Christe Peterson of Wisconsin
1980The National FFA Foundation raised $1 million in one year for the first time.
1982Jan Eberly, from California, became the first female national FFA president.
1987Vice President George H. W. Bush spoke at national convention; Bush was elected president in 1988.
1988• Future Farmers of America changed its name to the National FFA Organization to reflect the growing
diversity in the industry of agriculture.
• Seventh and eighth grade students permitted to become FFA members.
• Agriscience Student Recognition Program introduced.
1989The National Future Farmer magazine changed its name to FFA New Horizons.
1990Partners in Active Learning Support program launched.
1994• Corey Flournoy, from Illinois, was the first African-American to be elected national FFA president; he
was also the first urban student leader.
199972nd National FFA Convention held in Louisville, Ky., for the first time.
• First National Creed Speaking event held. Winner: Michael Van Winkle, Arkansas.
2006National FFA Foundation receives first $1 million contribution from the Ford Motor Company.
• 79th National FFA Convention held in Indianapolis, Ind., for the first time, with 54,489 in attendance.
• Endorsement of agricultural education’s long-range goal of 10,000 quality agricultural education
programs by 2015, where every student is a member of FFA and has a relevant SAE.
2017Student memebership meets an all time high of 653,359