FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education is the mission of the organization. FFA is a youth organization that advances agriculture through a variety of platforms. FFA, which stands for Future Farmers of America, is a national organization made up of state associations that have several local chapters. A local chapter may be chartered in any public school with an agricultural education program.
In the state of Iowa FFA is an institution. I’m sure many of you have seen the “blue jackets” exhibiting at your local county fair or at the Iowa State Fair or may have worn one yourself. FFA is one of the largest youth development organizations available in public schools. Benefits of the organization include; increased student motivation; access to scholarships, helps students identify career goals and provides opportunities for students to earn money.
While FFA has taken measures to broaden their scope to more diverse populations, they have a stigma that it is only for farm kids or those that are interested in becoming farmers. Scheduling is also an issue for many students. As graduation requirements increase, participants find it more challenging to fit FFA into an already jam packed school schedule.
FFA is not just for farmers. It really is about building leadership, speaking and communication skills. It can also help motivate students that might struggle with “typical” school work, as FFA members must maintain passing grades to participate. Yes, FFA, does promote agriculture but a kid interested in math, science, engineering or technology can also find topics that will be of interest to them.
As stated above, students are faced with a variety of choices on how they spend their free time. Students must take at least one agriculture related class, work on projects in and outside of school time, and attend events and conferences. The time commitment is similar to other extra-curricular activities such as sports.
Supplies needed will vary depending on the local chapter’s focus and member’s projects.
- Program Fees: National FFA dues for each member are $7.00 per year. Iowa FFA Assocation dues are $7.50 per member.
- Project Costs: Members will be responsible for covering costs of project supplies.
- Other National, Iowa FFA and local chapter events have associated registration fees throughout the year.
FFA generally does not turn away members due to inability to pay. If you need assistance talk to your school’s Agriculture teacher or local FFA advisor.
Where to find Organizations
Iowa FFA Association
FFA Enrichment Center
1055 SW Prairie Trail Parkway
Ankeny, Iowa 50023
Phone: (515) 965-7376
What do you think, is FFA a fit for your kid?