While writing an article on past state FFA officers, I ran across some FFA trivia:
1) The original National Future Farmers of America was organized in 1928 in Kansas City.
2) The official colors of the FFA are national blue and corn gold, adopted in 1929.
3) The FFA jacket was adopted as official dress in 1933. More than 50,000 FFA jackets are manufactured every year.
4) In 1950, Congress granted FFA a federal charter, making it an integral, intracurricular part of public agricultural instruction under the National Vocation Education Acts.
5) Girls were not allowed membership in Future Farmers of America until 1969. Before then, girls had their own unaffiliated group called Future Homemakers of America (FHA). The FHA later became known as Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA).
6) Females make up 43 percent of FFA members and 47 percent of state leadership positions.
7) Blacks were also not allowed in FFA, until 1965. FHA didn't allow blacks as members until the same year.
8) Sixteen states in the South had alternative organizations set up for blacks: New Farmers of America (NFA) and New Homemakers of America (NHA).
9) The name was changed in 1988 to the National FFA Organization, to better reflect its expansion into more diverse agricultural fields, including marketing, processing, communications, education, horticulture, production, natural resources, forestry, agribusiness and more.
10) FFA receives no federal funding.
11) About 70 percent of FFA members live in rural/farm areas. About 10 percent live in urban and suburban areas, and 19 percent live in small towns.
12) FFA membership is more than half a million, with 7,489 chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.