US House approves FFA bill that increases group's autonomy

FFA prides itself on changing with the times. Now, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation to modernize the charter of the National FFA Organization.

House Resolution 439 “increases FFA’s autonomy while preserving its longstanding relationship with the U.S. Department of Education,” according to a written statement by the National FFA Organization.

According to FFA, of the nearly 100 federally chartered nonprofits, FFA is the sole organization that must rely on its partner government agency to select the majority of its board members. H.R. 439, known as the National FFA Organization’s Federal Charter Amendments Act, reforms how FFA’s board is selected to better reflect the broad array of stakeholders invested in the organization. The bill also gives FFA’s charter an explicit focus on agricultural CTE (Career and Technical Education), which will help better prepare student members for 21st century careers.

“These amendments let FFA build to meet the needs of 21st century agriculture,” Mark Poeschl, CEO of the National FFA Organization and Foundation, said in the statement. “They allow National FFA to self-govern while maintaining our long relationship with the U.S. Department of Education and clearly define the important integral nature of agricultural education, FFA leadership development, and experiential learning for the first time.”



The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. S. 2432, legislation that’s very similar to H.R. 439, passed the Senate in December, FFA said.

The Future Farmers of America was formed in 1928 and changed its name to FFA in 1988 to reflect the growing diversity of the agricultural industry. The group now has been known as FFA for 30 years, half as long as it went by its original name.

FFA's emphasis on leadership, personal growth and career success through ag education is boosting membership nationwide, with much of the growth coming in urban areas.