INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 23, 2014 – Analysts forecast that the world's population will grow to 9 billion people by 2050. With global needs today to fight hunger and prepare for the expected population explosion, the industry of agriculture needs educated, skilled and passionate people dedicated to sustainability.
Today's students are answering that call, evidenced by an explosion in FFA membership throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in the past year.
Membership in FFA today stands at an all-time high of 610,240 students, up from 579,678 in 2013. Membership increased by more than 30,500 during the 2013-14 school year. The number of new, local FFA chapters throughout the country grew to 7,665.
“FFA, through agricultural education, is preparing our youth to ensure the security of our country's food, fiber and natural resources for years to come,” said Dr. Dwight Armstrong, CEO of the National FFA Organization. “Through real-world experiences, the nation’s agriculture teachers are helping students develop the technical knowledge, skills and problem-solving capabilities to be the industry's leaders of tomorrow. FFA members will be tomorrow’s advocates for agriculture.”
The Texas FFA Association added more members than any other state, increasing by 8,364 members. Total FFA membership in the Lone Star state stands at 103,379 with 1,021 chapters. California, with 76,470 members, is the country’s second-largest FFA association, followed by Georgia with 37,698 members, Missouri with 25,935 members and Oklahoma with 25,561 members.
Founded in 1928, the National FFA Organization’s mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
FFA operates at the local, state and national level. Students belong to FFA chapters organized at the local high school or middle school level, and many students continue their membership through postsecondary education in colleges, universities or technical schools until age 21. Agriculture teachers serve as chapter advisors. Chapters are organized under state FFA associations headed by a state advisor or executive secretary, often an employee of the state’s department of education.
The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs.
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