FFA membership at its Highest in Three DecadesThu, 23 Oct 2008 4:59:39 CDT
The National FFA organization is at its highest membership level since the late 1970s- and National Advisor Larry Case says he believes that the record membership level set in 1977 will be surpassed in the coming year. The National FFA now has just over 507,000 members across the US, and Case says there are several reasons why membership remains robust in a group that has its roots in rural America, down on the farms and ranches of America.
Case says that Ag Education has diversified in recent years, expanding its content to reflect the diversity of jobs available in the agricultural arena here in 2008. He says that you add the leadership development component of the FFA organization to the mix- and you get a supercharged organization that is relevant today.
We asked Case about the symbol of the FFA now and then- the FFA jacket. He laughed and said he often gets the question from onlookers, "why do you make those students wear those jackets?" He tells us "we don't make them wear them- you couldn't take them away from them." He says its a matter of wanting that jacket as a symbol of belonging and of the character of the young people that wear those jackets.
Case says that fundraising has gone well this past year for the National FFA Foundation- and that a new record will be announced as far as dollars collected in the past year for support of the organization. And he tells us that there is a major initiative ahead for FFA, as they want to expand the number of chapters in the nation- and bring under the FFA umbrella schools that have never had an ag education program before.
Finally, we asked Larry Case about where the convention may be in the years to come. He would not commit to a timeline as to when an announcement might be made- but he says they are down to two cities- either stay in Indianapolis or move back to Louisville starting in 2013.
You can click the listen bar below and hear our full conversation with Larry Case- if you care about agriculture and/or the FFA, it's a conversation worth listening to!
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