FFA History

  • 1917 Smith-Hughes Act

    The Smith-Hughes National Vocational Education Act, (both Senator Hoke Smith and Representative Dudley Hughes were from Georgia) establishes vocational agriculture courses.
  • 1925

    Virginia Tech agricultural education teacher educators Henry C. Groseclose, Harry W. Sanders, Walter S. Newman, and Edmund C. Magil organized the Future Farmers of Virginia (FFV) for boys in agriculture classes. The FFV serves as the model for the Future Famers of America.
  • 1926

    The first National Congress of Vocational Agriculture Students assembles for a National Livestock Judging Contest at the American Royal Livestock and Horse Show in Kansas City, MO.
  • 1927

    H.O. Sargent, a federal agent for agricultural education for African-Americans at the U.S. Office of Education, and G.W. Owens, a teacher-trainer at Virginia State College, write the first constitution and bylaws for the New Farmers of Virginia, an organization for African-American agriculture students. The organization holds its first state rally that same year.
  • 1928

    First National FFA Convention is held in Kansas City, MO.: 33 delegates from 18 states are in attendance.
    Leslie Applegate from New Jersey is elected the first national FFA president.
  • 1929

    National blue and corn gold are adopted as official FFA colors.
  • 1930

    Official FFA Creed, written by E.M. Tiffany, is adopted.
    First Official Dress uniform is adopted: dark blue shirt, blue or white pants, blue cap, and yellow tie.
  • 1931

    The National FFA Radio Program on NBC is launched.
  • 1932

    A charter is granted to the Puerto Rico FFA Association.
  • 1933

    Blue corduroy jacket is adopted as Official Dress.
  • 1935

    NFA is founded as a national organization at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
  • 1937

    During the National FFA Convention, action is taken to establish a national FFA camp and leadership training school in Washington D.C.
  • 1939

    28.5 acres of land is purchased near Alexandria, Va., for the first FFA-owned national headquarters; the land was once part of George Washington.
  • 1942

    FFA members join in the war effort. Three former FFA members-Hobert Gray from Texas, Travis Hoover from California, and Melvin Jordan from Oklahoma-served with then Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle and participated in the famous air raid on Tokyo.
  • 1944

    The Future Farmers of America Foundation is formed in Washington, D.C., to raise money for FFA programs and activities.
  • 1946

    Attending the National FFA "Victory Convention" is 12,500. Those in attendance honor the 260,450 FFA members who served and paid the supreme sacrifice, losing their lives in the war.
  • 1947

    The first National FFA Band performs at the National FFA Convention.
  • 1948

    The first FFA chorus and National FFA Talent program is held at the National FFA Convention.
  • 1949

    The first International Exchange Program for FFA members begins with the Young Farmers Club of Great Britain.
  • 1950

    The 81st U.S. Congress passes a bill that grants a federal charter to Future Farmers of America.
  • 1952

    The FFA Code of Ethics is adopted.
  • 1953

    FFA memberships reach 363,369 members.
  • 1955

    Photo of American Star Farmer Joe Moore is on the cover of Time magazine.
  • 1957

    Former President Harry S. Truman speaks during the National FFA Convention.
  • 1958

    The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis presents NFA with a Certificate of Appreciation.
  • 1959

    First National FFA Center is dedicated in Alexandria, Va., on land that was once part of George Washinton's estate.
  • 1964

    FFA sells its one-millionth FFA jacket.
  • 1965

    NFA merges with FFA, increasing FFA membership by more than 50,000.
  • 1966

    First FFA National Agricultural Career Show is held at the National FFA Convention to highlight educational and career opportunities in agriculture.
  • 1967

    Elmer J. Johnson helps develop the FFA archives at the National FFA Center.
  • 1968

    Presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon speaks at the National FFA Convention. Nixon is elected U.S. president the following month.
  • 1969

    FFA finally opens memberships to females and making it possible for them to hold the office.
  • 1970

    New York's Anita Decker and New Jersey's Patricia Krowicki become the first two female delegates to the national convention.
  • 1971

    The National FFA Alumni Association is established.
  • 1973

    National FFA Secretary Fred McClure from Texas is the first African-American elected to a national FFA office.
  • 1974

    President Gerald Ford speaks at the National FFA Convention.
  • 1975

    The first FFA Student Handbook is published
  • 1976

    Alaska becomes the last of the 50 states to obtain a national charter.
  • 1978

    President Jimmy Carter speaks at the 51st National FFA Convention again, this time as a U.S. president.
  • 1979

    Christe Peterson from Wisconsin wins the first Extemporaneous Public Speaking Event.
  • 1980

    The National FFA Foundation raises $1 million in one year for the first time.
  • 1982

    Jan Elberly from California becomes the first female national FFA president.
  • 1983

    The Ag Ed Network, the organization's computerized information service, launches.
  • 1984

    The first FFA TV public service announcements air.
  • 1986

    The first Agriscience Teacher of the Year Award is presented to Steven McKay from Boonville, Calif.
  • 1987

    The first national television satellite broadcast of the National FFA Convention airs.
  • 1988

    The Future Farmers of America changes its name to the National FFA Organization to reflect the growing diversity in agriculture.
  • 1989

    The National Future Farmer magazine changes its name to FFA New Horizons.
  • 1990

    The Partners in Active Learning Support (PALS) program launches.
  • 1991

    FFA chapters in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam, along with five chapters in Micronesia, are chartered.
  • 1994

    Corey Flournoy from Illinois is the first African-American to be elected national FFA president; he is also the first urban student leader.
  • 1996

    H.O. Sargent Award is reinstated, promoting diversity among chapters.
  • 1997

    The first Agri-Entrepreneurship Award is presented.
  • 1998

    The National FFA Center in Indianapolis is dedicated on July 20.
  • 1999

    The National FFA Convention is held in Louisville, Ky, for the first time with 46,918min attendance.
  • 2000

    The National FFA Archives at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPU) opens.
  • 2001

    Steven Offer from Wisconsin is named the first American Star in Agriscience.
  • 2002

    Official Dress standards are revised.
  • 2003

    Javier Moreno from Puerto Rico is elected national president and became the first person with a native language other than English to be elected to office.
  • 2004

    The first live webcast of the National FFA Convention premieres on FFA.org.
  • 2005

    National FFA launches Seeds of Hope was a fundraiser campaign to rebuild Gulf Coast states' agricultural education and FFA programs following Hurricane Katrina; 835,699 in donations is distributed to affected programs.
  • 2006

    The 79th National FFA Convention is held in Indianapolis for the first time, with 54,589 in attendance.
  • 2007

    The FFA Merchandise Center opens in Indianapolis.
  • 2008

    The FFA member networking site, FFA Nation (now defunct), launches.
  • 2009

    FFA celebrates 40 years of women in the organization.
  • 2010

    Dr. Larry Case retires after 26 years as the national FFA advisor.
  • 2011

    The National FFA Alumni Association celebrates its 40th aniversery.
  • 2012

    Patrick Gottsch donates $1 million on behalf of RFD-TV to the National FFA Organization, the single-largest unrestricted donation in the organization's history.
  • 2013

    Sherene Donaldson is named the first female national FFA executive secretary.
  • 2014

    FFA members earn a record 3,765 American FFA Degrees.
  • 2015

    FFA announces the national convention and expo to move to Indianapolis from 2016-24
  • 2016

    National FFA Alumni membership jumps to 225,891 members, up from 62,705 in 2015.
  • 2017

    Breanna Holbert from California is the first African-American female to be elected national FFA president.
  • 2018

    Platinum sponsor John Deere commemorates 75 years of partnership with FFA.
  • 2019

    FFA celebrates 50 years of female membership in the organization.