By Sydney Snider, OCJ FFA reporter
It has been a successful year for FFA members and chapters across the Buckeye State. Membership has reached a high with over 25,000 FFA members and 315 FFA chapters. A record number of state degree recipients were awarded at the state FFA convention in May and Ohio was honored to have several national winners recognized at the national FFA convention in October.
2018 also marks the 90th anniversary for the formation of the “Future Farmers of America.” Ohio has had a rich history in leading innovation and growth within FFA since it’s inception in 1928. Continue reading for a quick glimpse into the past 90 years.
The initial years
In November of 1928, 33 vocational agriculture students met in Kansas City to form the “Future Farmers of America.” Among the students was Ashley, Ohio native Lawrence Augenstein, who helped develop the by-laws and constitution for the FFA. He also received the first American FFA Degree pin ever presented and served on the first national officer team.
In February 1929, the Ohio FFA Association was officially established during a two-day meeting at The Ohio State University. The meeting was made up of 80 students from 52 Ohio Departments of Vocational Agriculture. Ohio was the 14th state to charter an association with 23 official chapters.
An iconic symbol of the FFA is the blue corduroy jacket worn by members across the nation. The jacket, developed by the Fredericktown FFA Chapter, was adopted in 1933. Fredericktown is located in Knox County and is still an active FFA chapter today.
A favorite location for Ohio FFA members is Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum. The Ohio FFA camp program was established in 1941 and has been going strong ever since.
As FFA continued to grow in Ohio, a need was seen for a foundation to be established to develop support and funding for the association. So in 1957, the Ohio FFA Foundation was officially formed.
Ohio continued to be ahead of the game in creating opportunities for students. In 1966, membership was opened to girls in Ohio. The national organization followed this lead just a few years later in 1969.
The middle years of FFA’s growth and development saw the implementation of many new Career Development Events (CDE) and programs to help students grow in their leadership capabilities. In order to reflect the growing diversity of its membership and programs, the “Future Farmers of America” changed their name to the National FFA Organization in 1988.
Other noteworthy moments
In 2003, the Ohio FFA Association celebrated 75 years by opening a time capsule that was sealed during the 50th state FFA convention. The following year, a new time capsule was sealed and will be opened during the 100th state convention.
Over the years, Ohio FFA has been proud to have countless FFA members be awarded as national winners in CDE’s, proficiency areas, and other leadership-oriented events. The Ohio FFA Association has also seen the most students elected as national FFA officers, with a total of 32.
A promising future
Ohio FFA has been dedicated to serving its members since day one. As agriculture, technology, and education continue to evolve and grow, so do the capabilities of Ohio FFA members and chapters. The next 90 years are sure to bring more exciting moments, awards, and growth for FFA across the Buckeye State.
To learn more about the Ohio FFA Association, visit ohioffa.org. You can also follow Ohio FFA on social media to keep up to date with FFA member and chapter accomplishments.