HISTORY AND CHARACTER OF FFA

   The Future Farmers of America (FFA) Organization is part of the vocational agriculture/agribusiness instruction program preparing students for careers in the industry of agriculture and agribusiness. Soon after vocational agriculture became a subject in the nation's high schools (Smith-Hughes Act, 1917), instructors became aware of the need to provide practical training beyond the traditional classroom approach. Their idea was to make instruction more interesting and more practical by combining work experience, competitive agricultural judging events, and agricultural leadership development activities with the usual classroom instruction. Vocational agriculture instructors and students eagerly accepted the "learn-by-doing" principle and the FFA became the vehicle for providing leadership training and occupational incentive.

    The FFA program serves a great variety of youth in today's society, especially with the new and emerging occupational careers that are now available. Careers in agribusiness and related fields are growing very rapidly since there has been a great transition from early agriculture to modern agriculture. Today's agriculture and agribusiness sector reflect some of the most modern technological changes that have taken place in the past decade. In fact, America's amazingly sophisticated and efficient agricultural sector is one of the few areas of our economy with overwhelming superiority in world markets. The FFA takes pride in helping meet the growing demand for capable, competent agricultural leaders that will be helping solve our world food problems.

   As the FFA Program has progressed through its seventy three year history to its present maturity in the State of Connecticut, we have been adding numerous contests and incentive award programs. These programs constantly challenge Connecticut's 2,500 FFA Members to achieve excellence in their chosen careers. The Connecticut FFA Association presently has many different events and award programs available to its membership. Agriculturally speaking, Connecticut is a much diversified state and this necessitates that a diverse curriculum be taught in our public high school agriculture departments and a diverse FFA program to complement the instruction.

CONNECTICUT FFA FOUNDATION ORGANIZED

    Because of the growth and complexity of the events and awards programs needed to complement the instructional program, new strategy was developed to provide additional manpower and services. As a result, the Connecticut Future Farmers of America Foundation was organized. The Foundation is operated for the sole purpose of supporting FFA Association sanctioned activities. While the Connecticut FFA Association is sanctioned by the State Department of Education, the Connecticut FFA Foundation has its own Board of Directors and financially supported with contributions from the private sector.

    The Connecticut FFA Foundation was chartered with the Secretary of State on July 7, 1976. The Foundation operated in name only for three years. The Connecticut Rural Electric Cooperatives Association provided free office space from October 1979 to July, 1989.