ANKENY — The future of agriculture is bright in Iowa and youths across the state want to be a part of it — in record numbers. The Iowa FFA Association has achieved a new plateau in membership by setting an all-time record with 14,207 members in 219 high schools across Iowa. This is the highest membership for the Iowa FFA Association since the charter of the organization in 1929 and surpassing the previous record set during the 1977-78 school year with 14,204 Iowa FFA members.
“The increase of our membership is a reflection of the dedication of our agriculture teachers and the appeal of leadership programs pertaining to all facets of the agriculture industry,” said Iowa FFA Advisor Dale Gruis. “The rigorous combination of agricultural education classes, experiential learning through supervised agricultural experience projects, and the FFA provided by our agriculture teachers provides students with relevance to their futures and helps them to build relationships within their communities.”
The Iowa FFA Association has experienced a recent surge in membership with an increase of nearly 15 percent over the past three years. The new membership record is also 57 percent larger than 25 years ago in 1988-89, when there were only 9,031 members.
“Our increasing membership is the result of growing opportunities available to all our students,” Iowa FFA President Josh Earll said. “These opportunities range from hands-on learning, leadership experiences, and over $2 million of scholarships offered through the National FFA scholarship program annually. There are so many doors that are open to members of the Iowa FFA.”
The Iowa FFA Association has 219 local chapters with over 14,200 FFA members. FFA is a national organization of nearly 580,000 members preparing for leadership and careers in science, business and technology of agriculture. Local, state and national programs provide opportunities for students to apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom. FFA’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. For more information, go to www.iowaffa.com.