Community Spotlight: Future Farmers of America

by Emily Solomon

Name: The National Future Farmers of America Organization (FFA)

What they do: The National Future Farmers of America Organization prepares its young members for personal growth, premiere leadership, and career success in agriculture. Through work-based learning, members gain the tools they need to become the future leaders as chemists, veterinarians, community gardeners and more. 

How they do it: The FFA has a number of chapters nationwide And is funded through individual donations and sponsorships. Various corporations have committed to donating significant amounts  to become corporate partners

The New York State FFA Association has a campsite located in Croghan, New York, that is kept active through donations, and attendance continues to grow every year.

Core Programs: 

The FFA has several programs dedicated to strengthening the communities that their chapters are in. Some of those core programs include:

  1. Living to Serve: is a volunteer service that engages students with needs in their community. 
  2. The National FFA Agricultural Literacy and Advocacy Platform: teaches students to become agriculturally literate. Their site states that, “students competing in the Ag Issues Career Development Event study and research a current event in agriculture and then present and debate all sides of the issue; and chapters applying for the National Chapter Award must answer how they advocate in their communities.”
  3. AGEXPLORER: is a platform that assists people in finding careers, and creates pathways of entry.

The New York FFA Association has several programs dedicated to strengthening the specific community that the chapter is in. Some include:

  1. The State Convention: provides students with the opportunity to meet members across the state, compete in contests, and participate in workshops and training in the agricultural field.
  2. State Leaders Experience (SLE): Every February, students go to Albany to engage with senators and assembly members from their communities. 
  3. The Access Conference: takes students who will be entering grades 9 to 12 on the road and exposes them to agricultural colleges and career opportunities in New York State. 

Interesting fact about how it is working to positively affect the food system and its current campaign: The FFA holds an Agriscience Fair every year where students in grades 7 to 12  present their research and ideas on topics that encompass Animal Systems, Environmental Services/Natural Resource Systems, Food Products and Processing Systems, Plant Systems, Power, Structural and Technical Systems, and Social Science. These findings are intended to lead to further research and advancement in agriculture. 

TCurrently the FFA has local chapters based in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Governors Island and are looking forward to continuously expanding their membership. Anyone interested in creating a local chapter should 

Location: Nationwide Chapters
Areas served: Nationwide
Year Started: 1988
Contact Information: They may be reached at their contact page linked here.

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