National FFA Rebrands Alumni Association, Expands Mission

The National FFA Organization will expand its affiliated alumni association to make room for the volunteers that assist local FFA chapters around the country.

The National FFA Organization is making more room for the larger community around its organization.

The group, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, recently announced that it would make changes to its alumni association to ensure that volunteers had a place in the organization as well. Now, the offshoot will be called National FFA Alumni and Supporters.

The executive director of the renamed group, Joshua Rusk, noted that the shift was driven by the growing need for a place for those volunteers, while ensuring that FFA’s alumni were represented as well.

“In order to be more inclusive of our volunteers, while still maintaining the recognition that our former members have come to know in FFA, the National FFA Board of Directors decided to change the name,” Rusk said in a statement. “In the National FFA Organization, you don’t have to be a former member to be an alumni member, and the board wanted the name to reflect that opportunity.”

The name change and shift in membership makeup will also affect how the group operates. The National FFA board will have more direct control over how the organization is operated, with input from FFA staff members and an advisory committee of alumni and supporters. The group says it will also change its alumni delegate process and have current FFA alumni vote on member dues.

The organizational shift will be made possible with the help of a new advisory committee made up of at least a dozen members. Officials from FFA, the American Association for Agricultural Education, the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE), and the National Association of Supervisors of Agricultural Education will take part in creating the committee.

The change represents one of the largest in the alumni association’s nearly 50-year history. The organization, which represents nearly 350,000 alumni and more than 2,000 chapters nationally, was launched in 1971 and exists to support and promote FFA, an iconic youth educational organization, at the state, local, and national levels.

(Kropewnicki/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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