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FFA Timeline

  • Smith-Hughes

    The Smith-Hughes National Vocational Education Act (both Smith and Hughes were Georgia Congressmen) established vocational agriculture courses.
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    Events of the FFA

  • FFV was created

    Virginia 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.
  • The American Royal Livestock Show

    The American Royal Livestock Show invited vocational agriculture students to participate in national livestock judging contests in Kansas City, Mo.
  • G.W. Owens

    G.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.
  • FFA

    Future 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.
  • Colors of FFA

    National blue and corn gold adopted as official colors. Carlton Patton of Arkansas named first Star Farmer of America, one of the first awards created by FFA. At the Second National FFA Convention in November 1929, 33 states represented by 64 delegates. Thirty-five state associations with approximately 1,500 chapters and 30,000 members affiliated with the national organization.
  • FFA Creed

    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.
  • Blue Jacket

    Blue 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.
  • NFA

    New Farmers of America founded in Tuskegee, Ala. Active FFA membership exceeded 100,000 members.
  • FFA Camp

    During national convention, action taken to establish a national FFA camp and leadership training school in Washington, D.C.
  • Farmer of America

    28.5 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.
  • WWll

    During 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.
  • Award

    Future 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.
  • National FFA Band

    First National FFA Band performed at national FFA convention.
  • FFA Convention

    First 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.
  • International Exchange Program

    First International Exchange Program for FFA members began with Young Farmers Club of Great Britain.
  • Bills

    A 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.
  • Magazine

    First issue of The National Future Farmer magazine published.
  • US Post Office

    The 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.
  • Harry S. Truman

    Former President Harry S. Truman spoke during the national convention.
  • NFA Certificate of Appreciation

    The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis presented NFA with a Certificate of Appreciation.
  • National FFA Center

    First National FFA Center dedicated in Alexandria, Va., on land that had originally been used as the national FFA camp.

    New Farmers of America merged with the Future Farmers of America.
  • Career Show

    First FFA National Agricultural Career Show held at national FFA convention to highlight educational and career opportunities in agriculture.
  • Richard Nixon

    President Richard Nixon attended national FFA convention in Kansas City.
  • Confrences and Woman

    FFA 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 constitution.
  • National FFA Alumni Association

    The National FFA Alumni Association chartered as an affiliate of the National FFA Organization.
  • FFA Oficial Dress

    FFA Official Dress standards created.
  • First African American National Officer

    Fred 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.
  • Food For America

    Food For America program launched. Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter – a former FFA member – spoke at the national FFA convention.
  • First Woman

    Julie 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.
  • Jimmy Carter

    President Jimmy Carter addressed the 51st National FFA Convention.
  • Extemporanious

    First Extemporaneous Public Speaking Event held and won by Christe Peterson of Wisconsin.
  • $1 million!

    The National FFA Foundation raised $1 million in one year for the first time.
  • National Woman President

    Jan Eberly, from California, became the first female national FFA president.
  • George H. W. Bush

    Vice President George H. W. Bush spoke at national convention; Bush was elected president in 1988.
  • Change of Name and Members

    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.
  • FFA New Horizons

    The National Future Farmer magazine changed its name to FFA New Horizons.
  • Programs

    Partners in Active Learning Support program launched.
  • Chaertered Chapters

    Chapters in the Virgin Islands and Guam, along with five chapters in Micronesia, chartered.
  • National African American President

    Corey Flournoy, from Illinois, was the first African-American to be elected national FFA president; he was also the first urban student leader.
  • Big Movement

    H.O. Sargent Award reinstated, promoting diversity among chapters. FFA announced its decision to move the National FFA Center from Alexandria, Va., to Indianapolis, Ind. FFA announced its decision to move the national FFA convention from Kansas City, Mo., to Louisville, Ky. The official website for FFA,, debuted.
  • Entrepreneurship

    First Agri-Entrepreneurship Awards presented.
  • Progressive Events

    National FFA Center in Indianapolis, Ind., dedicated July 20. Agricultural Education National Headquarters dedicated in Alexandria, Va. National convention held in Kansas City, Mo., for the last time. Jose Santiago elected to national office; he was the first member from Puerto Rico to serve as a national officer. The 105th Congress of the United States reviewed and passed technical amendments to Public Law 81-740 (Aug. 30, 1950). Public Law 105-225 passed on Aug. 12.
  • Kentucky Screams FFA

    72nd National FFA Convention held in Louisville, Ky., for the first time. First National Creed Speaking event held. Winner: Michael Van Winkle, Arkansas.
  • Middle School Degrees and Archives

    Delegates at the national FFA convention approved the Discovery FFA Degree for middle school students. The National FFA Archives at Indiana University Purdue University in Indianapolis opened.
  • National Stars

    First National Star in Agriscience named: Steven Offer, Wisconsin. First National Star in Agricultural Placement named: Nicholas Streff, South Dakota.
  • Female Stars and Dress Revision

    First female Star Farmer named: Karlene Lindow, Wisconsin. Official Dress standards revised.
  • Javier Moreno

    Javier Moreno, Puerto Rico, elected national president; he became the first person with a native language other than English and the first Puerto Rican elected as national FFA president.
  • Live Webcast

    First live webcast of national FFA convention premiered on
  • Raised more than $10 million

    National FFA launched Seeds of Hope, a fundraising campaign to rebuild Gulf Coast states’ agricultural education and FFA programs following Hurricane Katrina; $835,699 in donations distributed to affected programs. The National FFA Foundation broke the $10 million mark in raising money for FFA programs and services.
  • Ford Motor Company

    National 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.
  • 500,823 Members in 7,358 Chapters

    The National FFA Merchandise Center opened its doors in Indianapolis, Ind. Membership broke the half-million mark with 500,823 members in 7,358 chapters. FFA New Horizons added online feature,
  • Rotation of National Convention

    FFA member networking site FFA Nation launched. Board made the decision to rotate the national convention between Louisville and Indianapolis, beginning with Louisville in 2013.
  • 40 Years

    FFA celebrated 40 years of women in the organization.
  • Making History

    Dr. Larry Case retired after 26 years as national FFA advisor. FFA celebrated the 75th anniversary of the founding of New Farmers of America during the 83rd National FFA Convention. Six college-age FFA members traveled to Zambia for the FFA Global Outreach: Africa program. FFA members earned a record 3,449 American FFA Degrees.
  • Celebrate

    The National FFA Alumni Association celebrated its 40th anniversary. FFA celebrated Native Americans in FFA, agriculture and agricultural education during the 84th National FFA Convention. Steve A. Brown named national advisor. The Agricultural Career Network launched.
  • Thousnds of Members Making a Diffrence

    Membership hit all-time high with 557,318 members in 7,498 chapters. The National FFA Foundation received a record of more than $16.2 million in support of FFA. The 85th National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis had a record attendance of 56,167 members, teachers, supporters and guests. FFA members and supporters packed 1,005,048 meals during the convention and expo’s FFA Rally to Fight Hunger. FFA celebrated Latinos/Hispanics in FFA, agriculture and agricultural education during the co