History of the National FFA Organization From the ffa handbook

1917: Smith-Hughes National Vocational Education Act established vocational agriculture courses.

Senator Hoke Smith, Georgia
Representative Dudley Hughes, Georgia

1925: Virginia Tech agricultural education teacher educators Henry Groseclose, Harry Sanders, Walter S. Newman and Edmund C. Mar gill organize the Future Farmers of Virginia for boys in agriculture classes. The FFV served as the model for the Future Farmers of America.

Henry Gloseclose, 'Father of FFA'

1928: Future Farmers of America is established in Kansas City, MO.

1928: First National FFA Convention is held in Kansas City; 33 delegates from 18 states were in attendance.

1928: First sectional gathering of New Famers of America members held.

1929: National blue and corn gold are adopted as the official colors.

1929: Carlton Patton of Arkansas is named the first Star Farmer of America.

1930: The official FFA creed is adopted.

1930: First National Public Speaking event is held; Edward Drace of Missouri is the winner.

1930: First Official Dress uniform was adopted: dark blue shirt, blue or white pants, blue cap and yellow tie.

1930: Delegates restrict membership to boys only.

1933: Blue corduroy jacket is adopted as Official Dress.

1933: 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.

1935: New Farmers of America is founded in Tuskegee, AL.

1935: Active FFA membership exceeded 100,000 members.

1937: During national convention, action was taken to establish a national FFA camp and leadership training school in Washington, D.C.

George Washington

1939: 28.5 acres of land was purchased for the first FFA-owned national headquarters; the land was part of George Washington's estate.

1939: Identical twins, Albert and Arthur Lacy of Hondo, TX, became the only members to share the title of Star Farmer of America.

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.

1944: Future Farmers of America Foundation formed.

1944: 138,548 FFA members were serving in the Armed Forces in World War II.

1944: First National FFA Agriculture Proficiency Award presented for Agricultural Mechanics.

1947: First National FFA Band performed at national FFA convention.

1948: First FFA Chorus and National FFA Talent program held at national FFA convention.

1948: National FFA Supply Service began operation.

1948: Record jump in membership from 263,269 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.

George Washington

1948: First FFA Week celebrated during the week of George Washington's Birthday.

1949: First International Exchange Program for FFA members began with Young Farmers Club of Great Britain.

Harry S. Truman

1950: President Harry S. Truman granted a Federal Charter, Public Law 740, to FFA.

1952: First issue of The National Future Farmer Magazine was published.

1953: The U.S. Post Office Department issued a special stamp to celebrate the 25th anniversary of FFA.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

1953: President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first president to speak at a national FFA convention.

Harry S. Truman

1957: Former President Harry S. Truman spoke during the national convention.

1958: The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis presents NFA with a Certificate of Appreciation.

1959: First National FFA Center was dedicated in Alexandria, VA.

1965: New Farmers of America merges with the Future Farmers of America.

1966: First FFA National Agricultural Career Show held at national FFA convention.

Richard Nixon

1968: President Richard Nixon attends national FFA convention.

1969: FFA opens membership up to girls.

1969: First National Star in Agribusiness, Ken Dungan from Arizona is named.

1969: Washington Leadership Conference (now WLC) begins.

1969: Delegate body of the national FFA convention established alumni class of membership as part of the constitution.

1973: FFA Official Dress standards created.

1974: Fred McClure from Texas is the first African-American elected to a national FFA office.

1974: President Gerald Ford is the guest speaker at national FFA convention; the speech was carried live to network television.

1975: Food for America program launched.

1976: Julie Smiley of Washington is the first female elected to a national office.

1976: Alaska becomes the last of the 50 states to obtain a national charter.

1978: President Jimmy Carter addressed the 51st National FFA Convention.

Paul Harvey

1978: Paul Harvey recites his 'So God Made a Farmer' poem during his speech at the national convention.

1979: First Extemporaneous Public Speaking Event held and won by Christe Peterson of Wisconsin.

1980: National FFA Foundation raises $1 million in one year for the first time.

Jan Eberly

1982: Jan Eberly, California, becomes the first female national FFA president.

1987: George H.W. Bush spoke at national convention as Vice President to Ronald Regan; Bush became President in 1988.

1988: Future Famrers of America changes its name to National FFA Organization to reflect the growing diversity in the industry of agriculture.

1988: 7th and 8th grade students are permitted to become FFA members.

1988: Agriscience Student Recognition Program introduced.

1989: The National Future Farmer magazine changes its name to FFA New Horizons.

1990: Partners in Active Learning Support (PALS) program is launched.

1991: Chapters in the Virgin Islands and Guam, along with five chapters in Micronesia, are chartered.

Corey Flournoy

1994: Corey Flournoy, Illinois, is the first African American to be elected national FFA president; he is also the first urban student leader.

1996: H.O. Sargent Award is reinstated, promoting diversity among chapters.

1996: FFA announces its decision to move the National FFA Center from Alexandria, VA to Indianapolis, IN.

1996: FFA announces its decision to move the national FFA convention from Kansas City, MO to Loisville, KY.

1996: The official website for FFA, www.FFA.org, debuted.

1997: First Agri-Entrepreneurship Awards presented.

1998: National FFA Center in Indianapolis, IN was dedicated July 20.

1998: Agricultural Education National Headquarters dedicated in Alexandria, VA.

1998: National convention held in Kansas City, MO for the last time.

Jose Santiago

1998: Jose Santiago elected to national office; he is the first member from Puerto Rico to serve as a national officer.

1998: Public Law 81-740 revised through Congress and replaced by Public Law 105-225 on August 12.

1999: 72nd National FFA Convention held in Louisville, KY

1999: First National Creed Speaking event; Michael Van Winkle of Arkansas wins.

2000: Delegates at the national FFA convention approve the Discovery FFA Degree for middle school students

2001: First National Star in Agriscience named: Steven Offer, Wisconsin.

2001: First National Star in Agricultural Placement named: Nicholas Streff, South Dakota.

2002: First female Star Farmer named: Karlene Lindow, Wisconsin.

2002: Official Dress standards revised.

Javier Moreno

2003: Javier Moreno, Puerto Rico, is elected to be the national president; he becomes the first person with a native language other than English and the first Puerto Rican elected as national President.

2004: First live webcast of national FFA convention premieres on www.FFA.org

2005: 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 to affected programs.

2005: FFA Foundation breaks the $10 million mark in raising money for FFA programs and services.

2006: National FFA Foundation receives first $1 million contribution from the Ford Motor Company.

2006: 79th FFA Convention is held in Indianapolis, IN for the first time, with 54,489 in attendance.

2006: Endorsement of agricultural education's long-range goal of 10,000 quality agricultural education programs by 2015, where every student is a member and has a relevant SAE.

2007: FFA Merchandise Centers opens its doors.

2007: Membership breaks the half-million mark with 503,823 members in 7,358 chapters.

2007: FFA New Horizons adds online feature: www.FFAnewhorizons.org

2008: FFA member networking site, FFA Nation, launches at FFAnation.ffa.org

2008: Board makes decision to rotate the National Convention between Lousiville and Indianapolis, beginning with Louisville in 2013.

2009: FFA celebrates 40 years of women in the organization.

Dr. Larry Case

2010: Dr. Larry Case retires after 26 years as the national FFA advisor.

2010: FFA celebrates the 75th anniversary of the founding of New Farmers of America.

2010: 6 college-age students travel to Zambia for the FFA Global Outreach: Africa program.

2011: The National FFA Alumni Association celebrates its 40th anniversary.

2011: FFA celebrates Native Americans in FFA, agriculture and agricultural education during the 84th National FFA Convention.

Dr. Steve Brown

2011: Steve A. Brown named national advisor.

2011: The Agricultural Career Network is launched.

2012: Patrick Gottsch donates $1 million on behalf of RFD-TV to the National FFA Organization, the single-largest unrestricted donation in the organization's history.

2012: The Ntional FFA Foundation receives a record of more than $16.2 million in support of FFA.

2012: FFA members and supporters pack 1,005,048 meals during the convention and expo's FFA Rally to Fight Hunger.

2012: FFA celebrates Latinos/Hispanics in FFA, agriculture and agricultural education during the convention and expo.

2013: Membership hits all-time high with 579,678 members in 7,570 chapters.

2013: The 86th National FFA Convention and Expo is held in Louisville with a record attendance of 62,998 members, teachers, supporters, and guests.

2013: FFA members earn a record 3,578 American FFA Degrees.

2013: Ram Truck's "So God Made a Farmer" Super Bowl commercial exceeds 18 million views on YouTube; company donates $1 million to FFA.

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