Future Farmers of America/New Farmers of America
Sponsor: FFA - U.S. Department of Education
NFA - Each state's Department of Education (early years)
Headquarters: Alexandria, VA
The early days of organizing youth who would grow up to be farmers, ranchers or agriculturally related to the world of farming; such as soil experts or chemists seems to have gotten a foothold in Virginia first. Some organizing began as early as 1925, but by 1927 they were formally organized. In 1928 it went national and the Future Farmers of America had been a part of the youth club movement ever since, and they are still going strong today.
Also in Virginia in 1927 was the beginning of the New Farmers of America, a similar group for students in segregated schools. It took a little longer for it to go national and for a long time was not related to the FFA or controlled by the Department of Education, as was the FFA. Each state ran its own NFA chapters, then slowly there was regional cooperation and unifying of club matters.
In later years the NFA adopted similar logo to the FFA, using a cotton boll instead of an ear of corn, and ran its program very close to the way the FFA was run.
Both groups promoted scientific improvements for the farm though education, camaraderie, contests, and experience.
1928-1930 FFA Membership Pin
In 1952 NFA merchandise, such as jackets and ties, were being offered through the FFA's special catalog insert.
By the time both groups "merged" nationally in to just one group in 1965 - the FFA, many of the local FFA and NFA clubs had already merged. They didn't merge so much as the NFA simply no longer existed anymore
Every year since 1964, at the yearly national FFA conventions, the vote to allow girls was struck down, until 1969.
Vintage NFA charm and modern FFA charm
The color/metal of the FFA pin has been significant; bronze was for the entry or first level of FFA, silver for the next level and gold for the final levels. Through the years the title attached to the level has changed. Although the pin design has remained fairly constant through the years there have been a few changes...
FFA & NFA During World War II
Post War Years
Early metal FFA sign, issues of Future Farmer - the official publication of the FFA, National Convention Pennant, Silver Jubilee button and FFA postage stamp issued 1953.
Examples of awards from the FFA
Integration of FFA, Disappearance of NFA - 1965
Girls allowed to join - 1969
Various Judging Medals
Name Changed to Agricultural Education - 1989
New FFA Degree added - 2000
The Discovery Degree, for grades 7 and 8, was added in 2000. It is not available in all states.
Degrees in FFA: