INDIANAPOLIS -- Analysts forecast that the world's population will grow to 9 billion people by 2050. With global needs today to fight hunger and prepare for the expected population explosion, the agriculture industry needs educated, skilled and passionate people dedicated to sustainability.
Students are answering that call, evidenced by an explosion in FFA membership throughout the U.S, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in the past year.
Membership in FFA today stands at 579,678 students in grades seven through 12. More than 22,300 new students joined FFA during the 2012-13 school year. The number of new, local FFA chapters throughout the country has grew to 7,570.
"FFA is preparing our youth to ensure the security of our country's food, fiber and natural resources for years to come," said National FFA Organization CEO Dr. Dwight Armstrong. "Through real-world experiences, the nation's agriculture teachers are helping students develop the technical knowledge, skills and problem-solving capabilities to be the industry's leaders of tomorrow. FFA members will be tomorrow's advocates for agriculture."
The Texas FFA Association added more students and new chapters than any other state. With 8,533 new members, total FFA membership in the Lone Star state stands at 95,015 in 1,010 chapters. California, with 74,039 members, is the country's second-largest FFA association, followed by Georgia with 35,398 members, Missouri with 25,073 members and Oklahoma with 24,896 members.
Founded in 1928, the National FFA Organization's mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
FFA operates at the local, state and national level. Students belong to FFA chapters organized at the local high- or middle-school level. Agriculture teachers serve as chapter advisors. Chapters are organized under state FFA associations headed by a state advisor or executive secretary, often an employee of the state's department of education. For more, visit FFA.org.