Manvel FFA
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What is the FFA?
Frequently asked questions about the FFA

What is FFA?
FFA is a dynamic student-led leadership development organization for students of agricultural education. The FFA changes lives and prepares students for premier leadership, personal growth and career success.

What does F-F-A stand for?
F-F-A stands for Future Farmers of America, which is the official name of the organization, but we don’t use the full name and instead operate as the “FFA” because Future Farmers of America implies that we are all preparing to be farmers.  Agriculture is much broader than farming and ranching.  Members study things such as horticulture, aquaculture, food sciences, accounting, wildlife management, mechanics and engineering.

Are FFA members going to be farmers?
Yes and No.  Agriculture is a very broad field of study.  Members study things like landscaping, floriculture, animal science, computer applications, accounting, environmental science, mechanics and engineering.  Regardless of an FFA member’s career choice the FFA provides opportunities to build and apply math, science, technology and leadership skills to their life.

What is the difference between 4-H and FFA?
Good question!  We do a lot of the same things and have many things in common.    The 4-H is part of the cooperative extension service and is coordinated by the local extension agents through county government and by volunteers.  4-H is not limited to agriculture, but takes in things like family and consumer sciences and other areas as well.  The FFA is an integral part of the school’s agricultural science program.  Each local program is led by an agricultural science teacher who works for the school.  FFA members apply what they learn in the classroom in FFA activities through school activities.

Are there any jobs in agriculture?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, at least 22 million people in the United States work in one of over 300 careers that exist in the field of agriculture.  While most people think of farming when the word agriculture is mentioned, there are agriculturr-related jobs in veterinary science, marketing, food processing,  retail sales and timber harvesting.  It is estimated that one in five people in the United States are working in jobs connected to agriculture.

How do I get my kids in FFA?
FFA is a part of the teaching program in agricultural sciences.  The first step is to enroll in an agricultural science class.  FFA activities are an outgrowth of the classroom and supervised independent enterprises and projects.

Today, there are 540,379 FFA members, aged 12 to 21, in 7,489 chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • 43% of FFA members are female; women hold approximately 50% of state leadership positions.
  • 76% of our membership is Caucasian; 16% is Hispanic; 4% is African-American; 2% is Native American.
  • 88% of FFA members are in grades 9-12; 7% are in middle school; 5% are high school graduates.
  • 70% of FFA members live in rural/farm areas; 19% live in small towns; 10% live in urban/suburban areas.
  • FFA chapters are in 18 of the 20 largest U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.
  • The top five membership states are Texas, California, Georgia, Missouri and Oklahoma.
  • The 2011 National FFA Convention was host to 53,358 members, FFA advisors and FFA supporters.
How old to kids have to be to be in FFA?
It depends on your local school district- at what grade level agricultural science courses are offered.  The earliest any school district can offer these classes is the seventh grade level.  Some local chapters have a junior FFA program to allow younger students to affiliate themselves with the local chapter to exhibit livestock.  Students must be at least eight years old and in the third grade to participate in the junior FFA.
Does everyone have to raise an animal in FFA?
NO.  Every FFA member must have a supervised agricultural experience program or SAE as we call it.  An SAE is a project or enterprise that gives members hands-on training and a chance to apply what is learned in the classroom.  Livestock projects are very popular, but there are a lot of other options: placement in an agricultural job, internships, experimental work in agriscience, horticultural projects and crop projects are just a few. Once enrolled in an agriculture class, students will learn what options are available for SAE's.
Do you have to be a cowboy to be in FFA?
NO. Some of our members are involved with beef and horse projects and value the western way of life, but FFA members come with all kinds of styles and interests.  From big cities like Houston and San Antonio to small towns all over Texas, what brings FFA members together is their interest in agriculture, leadership and community service.
What’s up with the blue corduroy jacket?
The blue corduroy jacket was adopted at the official dress after the Fredericktown, Ohio chapter had the blue jackets made for their local chapter in 1933 and came to the national FFA convention wearing them.  The delegates at that convention voted to make that the official jacket, and they have been part of the official uniform ever since. Students wear the Official Dress to represent themselves professionally when conducting official FFA business, leadership competitions, conventions, and banquets.
How is Texas FFA Funded?
FFA programs are funded through private donations, grants and sponsorships at the local, state and national level.  The Texas FFA Foundation, a separately registered non-profit organization, works with business and industry, organizations and individuals to raise funds to recognize FFA achievements and support activities. State dues for each FFA member are only five dollars a year. District, Area, and Local dues will also be charged and are due each year. Manvel's current membership fee is $20.00 per year.

Texas FFA is proud to have one of the largest state membership within the National FFA Organization.  Texas FFA membership has steadily grown toward a new membership record with over 61,000 members in 2005.

This and more information can be found at:

or the

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.

Learning To Do, Doing To Learn, Earning To Live, Living To Serve
The original inspiration for the organization began after the Smith-Hughes National Vocational Education Act of 1917 established vocational agriculture courses. Virginia's Future Farmers clubs for boys in agriculture led to the establishment of a national organization, The Future Farmers of America, at the Hotel Baltimore in Kansas City, Missouri in 1928. The FFA was granted a federal charter in 1950 when Congress passed Public Law 740. In 1965 the organization consolidated with the New Farmers of America, the organization for black agricultural students. Girls were permitted to join as members in 1969. In 1988, the official name of the organization was changed from the Future Farmers of America to the National FFA Organization.
National Blue and Corn Gold
The emblem represents the history, goals and future of the organization. The five symbols of the emblem are: the cross section of the ear of corn, the rising sun, the plow, the eagle and the owl.
The Greenhand and Chapter FFA Degrees are awarded to students on the local level. The State FFA Degree is awarded to the top members of the state association at the annual state convention. The American FFA Degree is conferred on the top members of national association during the national convention.


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