With 20,000 new members and 102 extra chapters in its active roster, the National FFA Organization re-wrote its own record books once again in 2016.
The organization announced a new record-high student membership of 649,335. That’s 3% higher than its 2015 membership of 629,367. Also, the total number of FFA chapters increased from 7,757 to 7,859. Ohio has surpassed Missouri enrollment numbers, so the top five states with the most FFA members are:
“FFA continues to grow leaders, build communities and strengthen agriculture, and our membership growth reflects continued enthusiasm for agriculture,” says National FFA Organization CEO Mark Poeschl. “Through agricultural education, FFA is preparing our members for careers in agriculture and is working to ensure the security of our country's food, fiber and natural resources systems for years to come.”
Poeschl says FFA helps students gain real-world experiences, technical knowledge and problem-solving capabilities so they can step up into future leadership roles.
FFA is also redoubling its efforts to grow alumni membership, Poeschl adds. For the first time, graduating high school seniors automatically received alumni memberships, so total alumni membership skyrocketed by 360% to 225,891 members in 2016. Poeschl says alumni can play a valuable role though their volunteerism and financial support to local teachers.
FFA chapters are scattered across all 50 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.