This week, February 18 through 25, 2012, FFA members in Delaware and across the nation will celebrate National FFA (Future Farmers of America) Week.
FFA is a national organization of 540,739 members and 7,489 chapters from all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. FFA makes agriculture real for all students enrolled in related programs of study. It is a diverse organization that draws its members from rural, urban and suburban schools.
This year, the theme for National FFA Week is “I Believe” and it celebrates more than 80 years of FFA traditions while eagerly anticipation the organizations future. More than half a million nationwide members around this great nation will participate in National FFA week. FFA members are the innovators and leaders of tomorrow. FFA members also reflect the cultural, ethnic, and gender diversity of America. FFA members:
• Range in age from 12 to 21 years.
• Are hard working individuals of good character.
• Are enthusiastic leaders of tomorrow.
• Promote citizenship, civic partnership and American values.
• Hold themselves to a higher standard and exhibit a naturally enthusiastic and spirited approach to life and all it has to offer.
• Are confident in their ability to make decisions and understand that they are responsible for their own destiny.
• Have self respect and are respectful of all living things.
Through agricultural education and hands-on learning, they prepare for more than 300 careers in agriculture, food, fiber and natural resource industries. Current FFA members are future chemists, veterinarians, politicians, farmers, entrepreneurs, journalists, business leaders, ranchers and teachers. The following are some interesting membership statistics:
• 42% of FFA members are female; women hold more than 47% state leadership positions.
• 89% of FFA members are in grades 9-12, 7% are in grades 7-8 and 4% are high school graduates.
• 69% of FFA members live in rural/farm areas, 10% live in urban and suburban areas and 20% live in small towns.
• FFA chapters are in 16 of the 20 largest U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.
• The 2010 National FFA Convention was host to more than 54,000 FFA members, advisors and supporters.
The personal growth and leadership skills that are developed through FFA and agricultural education serve a student well throughout life; even if they do not choose an Agriculture related career.