FFA History

  • 1917

    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 agriculture education teacher educators Henry C. Groseclose, Harry W. Sanders, Walter S. Newman, and Edmund C. Magill organized the Future Farmers of Virginia (FFV) for boys in agriculture classes. The FFV serves as the model for the Future Farmers in 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 Educaton, 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

    Future Farmers of America is established in Kansas City, MO. First National FFA Convention is held in Kansas City, MO.: 33 delegates from 18 states are in attendance.
  • 1929

    National blue and corn gold are adopted as the official FFA colors. Carlton Patton from Arkansas is named the first Star Farmer of America. This is one of the first awards created by the FFA, and it was sponsored until 1949 by the Kansas City Star.
  • 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.
    Groups of FFA officers and members make a pilgrimage to Washington, D.C, where they are greeted on the White House lawn by President Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • 1935

    NFA is founded as a national organization at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Active FFA membership exceeds 100,000 members.
  • 1937

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

    The H.O. Sargent Trophy Award is created to honor H.O. Sargent's commitment to helping NFA members achieve success and leadership in agriculture.
  • 1942

    During World War ll, delegates revise FFA membership rules so time served in the armed forces will not count in determining a member's period of eligibility.
  • 1944

    138,548 FFA members served in the Armed Services World War ll
  • 1946

    Attendance at the National FFA ¨Victory Convention¨ is 12,500. Those in attendance honor the 260,450 FFA members who served and the 7,188 who paid the supreme sacrifice, losing their lives in war
  • 1947

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

    First FFA Week is celebrated during the week of Georges Washington's Birthday.
  • 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. President Harry S. Truman signs the bill on Aug. 30, and it becomes Public law 81-740
  • 1952

    First issue of The National Future Farmer magazine is adopted
  • 1953

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower speaks at the National FFA Convention - the first U.S. president to do so - and receives an Honorary American Farmer Degree.
  • 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 from Infantile Paralysis presents NFA with a Certificate of Appreciation
  • 1959

    FFA holds its first National Leadership Training Conference for state officers in Washington, D.C.
  • 1964

    FFA sells its one-millionth FFA jecket
  • 1965

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

    First FFA National Agriculture Career Show (now called expo) 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 opens membership to females, making it possible for them to hold office and participate in competitive events at regional and national levels
  • 1970

    New Yorks Anita Decker and New Jerseys Patricia Krowicki become the first two female delegates to the national convention
  • 1971

    The National FFA Alumni Association is established
  • 1973

    FFA Official dress standards are created
  • 1974

    President Gerald Ford speaks at the National FFA Convention. The speech is carried live on network television
  • 1975

    Jimmy Carter, former Georgia governor and a former member of the Plaine (Ga.) FFA Chapter speaks at the National FFA Convention. Carter was elected U.S. president the following year.
  • 1976

    Julie Smiley from Washington is elected national FFA vice president and is the first female to hold a national FFA office.
  • 1978

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

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

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

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

    The Ag Ed Network, the organization 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
  • 1988

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

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

    National convention delegates vote to raise the number of official voting delegates to 475 based on proportional representation
  • 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 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 Convention is held in Kansas City, Mo., for the last time
  • 1999

    Michael Van Winkle from Arkansas wins the first National Creed Speaking event
  • 2000

    Delegates at the National FFA Convention approve the Discovery FFA Degree for middle school students
  • 2001

    Steven Offer from Wisconsin is names the first American Star is Agriscience
  • 2002

    The 75th National FFA Convention is held in Louisville, Ky. To celebrate this special event, the time capsule from the 50th National FFA Convention is opened. Special guest Muhammad Ali is recognized at reflections to honor the growig
  • 2003

    Only Blue Will Do! launches. The campaign focuses on restoring the official FFA jacket colors to the true national blue and corn gold, as a=well as providing a superior-fitting jacket
  • 2004

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

    The National FFA Foundation announces its first $1 million contributions from the Ford Motor Company
  • 2007

    The FFA Merchandise Center opens in Indianapolis
  • 2008

    The FFA board of directors makes the decision to rotate the National FFA Convention between Louisville in 2013
  • 2009

    FFA celebrates 40 years of women in the organization
  • 2010

    FFA celebrates the 75th anniversary of the founding of NFA
  • 2011

    The National FFA Alumni Association celebrates its 40th anniversary
  • 2012

    National FFA Foundation receives a record of more than $16.2 million in support of FFA.
  • 2013

    Ram Truck’s “So God Made a Farmer” Super Bowl commercial exceeds 18 million views on YouTube; company donates $1 million to FFA.
  • 2014

    Five FFA jackets are donated to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
  • 2015

    The organization’s official website, FFA.org, is updated to include a new look, a personalized dashboard, the resource My Journey, the FFA Resume Generator© and the FFA Brand Center. The FFA emblem is also newly refreshed to modernize the FFA brand.
  • 2016

    National FFA Alumni membership jumps to 225,891 members, up from 62,705 in 2015.
  • 2018

    The board of directors votes to rename the National FFA Alumni Association to National FFA Alumni and Supporters and change its bylaws to operational policies. The National FFA Alumni Council becomes the National FFA Alumni and Supporters Advisory Committee.
  • 2017

    Convention delegate recommendations to alter Official Dress and the opening ceremony get approval from the National FFA Board of Directors.
  • 2019

    FFA celebrates 50 years of female membership in the organization.
  • 2020

    The 10,000th jacket is gifted through the Give the Gift of Blue program.
  • 2021

    FFA celebrates 50 years of alumni membership.