This is National FFA Week and this year women are receiving extra attention. This year marks the 50th anniversary since women gained full membership in the organization.
1969 marked the very first year women could officially be members. However, the push for female leadership began much earlier, in 1935. During that gap, state and local chapters brought in female members at different levels. Some females enrolled in ag education classes or were identified as "social ambassadors" for the chapter, but were not allowed to become members. One Iowa farmer, April Hemmes, was the first woman to go through all four years of FFA at her high school.
"Anything is possible. That's the great thing that FFA gives you," April says, "especially the leadership and knowing how to speak to people. That's a big part of everything-the communicating, the learning and leadership."
Now, nearly half of all FFA members are women and hold roughly 50% of the state leadership positions. National FFA week runs through February 23rd.