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The National FFA Organization, originally called the Future Farmers of America, was founded in 1928 as a national organization for boys in rural, farming communities.  Its original purpose, the education of youth in agricultural fields of study, is still recognized through its current programs.  Today, the mission of the National FFA Organization 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.  Through educational programs the FFA teaches students how to become active in their communities and successful in their occupation.  FFA membership includes junior high, high school, and college students and totals approximately 450,000.

This collection contains correspondence, minutes, newsletters, publications, reports, audio cassettes, video cassettes, and photographs.


This collection is open to the public without restriction.  The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

Immediate access may not be allowed for some audio and visual materials due to preservation concerns. Please consult Archives Reference Staff for further details.


Cite as: National FFA Organization Records, 1916-2008, IUPUI University Library Special Collections and Archives, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.


Presented by National FFA Organization, June 1998-June 2000. A1997/98-026, A1999/00-002, A1999/00-013, A1999/00-023, A2000/01-012, A2002/03-029, A2003/04-025, A2004/05-007, A2005/06-001, A2005/06-016, A2006/07-026, A2007/08-015, A2007/08-029.

Processed by Debra Brookhart, September 2000 and September 2009.

Collection processed with funds provided by the Indianapolis Foundation.


Historical Timeline


The Smith-Hughes National Vocational Education Act establishes vocational agriculture courses.


Virginia Tech agricultural education teacher educators Henry Groseclose, Harry Sanders, Walter Newman, and Edmund Magill organize the Future Farmers of Virginia for boys in agriculture classes.  The Future Farmers of Virginia would later serve as the model for the Future Farmers of America.


New Farmers of America, an organization for African-American boys interested in agriculture, is formed in Virginia.  It, like the FFA, was sponsored by the United States Office of Education and paralleled the FFA's programs and activities to the point that they offered many of the same programs under different names.  In 1965, the NFA merged into the FFA and ceased to exist.  

The American Royal Livestock Show invites vocational agriculture students to participate in National Livestock Judging Contests in Kansas City, Missouri.


During the National Livestock Judging Contests, 33 students from 18 states establish the Future Farmers of America to provide leadership training for farm boys.  During this first annual convention, Leslie Applegate is elected president and dues are set at 10 cents annually.  The National Convention was held in Kansas City 1928-1998.


At the 3rd National Convention, the issue of membership was clarified when the constitution was amended restricting membership to boys only under Article III, Section B.  Girls were restricted to activities at the state and local levels in the years following this decision.

The official creed and colors - national blue and corn gold - are adopted.  The creed, written by E. M. Tiffany, has been amended three times but still retains its original basic tenants.


Fredericktown, Ohio, FFA members arrive at the National Convention in blue corduroy jackets with the FFA emblem on the back.  Official delegates vote to adopt the jacket as the organization's official dress.  Members still wear the nationally-recognized jackets today, honoring the tradition and history of the FFA. 

Members across the country celebrate the first national FFA Day.  In 1948 this celebration would be changed to FFA Week and celebrated during George Washington's birthday to recognize his pioneering contributions to American agriculture.


The National FFA Foundation, Inc. was established in Washington D.C., to raise money for FFA programs and activities from business, industry, government, individuals, and foundation sponsors.  Today, the foundation is located in Indianapolis, Indiana, and raises more than $7.3 million annually.


FFA members participate in the organization's first international exchange program with the Young Farmers Club of Great Britain.  This exchange launched a major international program that included internships for students and the establishment of future farmer organizations worldwide.  By 1996, the FFA would send more than 350 students to more than 25 countries annually.


The U.S. Congress passes Public Law 81-740, which grants the FFA a Federal Charter and stipulates that a U.S. Department of Education staff member be the National FFA Advisor.  Today the FFA continues to be recognized by Congress as an intra-curricular part of the educational program.


The FFA headquarters is established in Alexandria, Virginia, on land which was part of George Washington's estate.  The FFA had owned the land since 1939 and used it as a national camp. 


The New Farmers of America, the organization for African-American agricultural students, merges with the FFA, adding 50,000 members. 


The FFA National Agricultural Career Show, a trade show especially for students, exposes National Convention attendees to educational and career opportunities in agriculture.  By 1999, 350 exhibitors participate annually in the event.


Women are allowed national membership making it possible for them to hold office and participate in competitive events at the regional and national level.  Prior to this amendment women were permitted membership only at the local and state level.  Today, 34% of FFA membership is female, while more than 50% of state leadership positions are held by women.


The National FFA Alumni Association is founded, providing opportunities for former FFA members and other supporters to become involved with their local student chapters.  In 2000, the Alumni Association had 42,000 members.


Fred McClure is elected Western Region Vice President, becoming the organization's first African-American National Officer.  McClure would later serve on President George Bush's staff in Washington, D.C.


Jan Eberly becomes the first female National FFA President.


Delegates to the National FFA Convention change "Future Farmers of America" to the "National FFA Organization" to recognize the growth of agriculture and agricultural education to encompass the more than 300 careers in the science, business, and technology of agriculture.  Delegates also opened FFA membership to middle school students.


Corey Flournoy of Chicago, Illinois, is elected National FFA President, becoming the organization's first African-American president and first urban student leader.


The National FFA web site, National FFA Online, goes live.  In 1999, there were more than 140,000 visitors per month.


The National FFA Convention was held in Kansas City, Missouri, for the last time in November 1998; the convention set an attendance record, drawing 49,240 members, guests, and supporters. 

The National FFA Center moves to Indianapolis, Indiana, from Alexandria, Virginia.  The National FFA Center houses the National FFA Organization, the National FFA Foundation, and the National FFA Alumni Association.  Approximately 1,000 guests attended the dedication ceremonies on July 20, 1998.


The National FFA Convention is held in Louisville, Kentucky, for the first time and will stay in Louisville through 2005; attendance was 46,918.


FFA continues to expand opportunities for agricultural career preparation by introducing one new career development event, Agricultural Communications, and two demonstration events, Agronomy and Job Interview. 


The National FFA Convention is held for the first time in Indianapolis, Indiana; attendance was 54,489.

FFA membership totals 451,997 in 7,268 chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.

Adapted from Key Moments in FFA History timeline on the National FFA Organization website, www.ffa.org. 

Organizational Structure

The mission of the National FFA Organization 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.  Through educational programs, the FFA teaches students how to become active in their communities and successful in their occupation.  Emphasizing agricultural education the FFA demonstrates its ideals through the FFA Creed.  The creed represents the beliefs all members of the organization are to hold.  FFA membership includes junior high, high school, and college students.

The FFA is organized in such a way that promotes active participation by members.  First and foremost the FFA is a student organization that actively seeks to educate students in agricultural fields of study.  Six students are elected annually to serve as the National FFA Officers.  These students are leaders and serve as representatives of the organization's membership.  The FFA was originally set up as an organization to be administered directly by the elected student representatives.  Adult advisors were elected by the students and served only as advisors to the governing body of student officers called the Board of Trustees.  The constitution made no mention of any other form of administration.  However, the expansion of the scope and programming of the FFA involved a great deal of financial and legal responsibility that minors could not effectively manage.  The strong ties to the state and national government and with school boards further complicated the issue.  After careful study of the problem, it was decided in1931 that an Advisory Council be created to oversee the activities of the National Student Officers and the positions of National Advisor and Executive Secretary to be positions filled by employees of the U.S. Office of Education rather than by elected officials.  Other members of the Council included state officers in agricultural education.  Originally, the Advisory Council had veto power over the students' decisions, but not a vote.  Their job was to observe and make recommendations to the students that helped them stay focused.  The Advisory Council also took responsibility for following the policies set forth by the national constitution.

The Advisory Council acted as consultants to the student board until 1950 when the FFA was federally chartered.  At this point the duties and responsibilities of the students and adults shifted.  The Advisory Council was renamed the Board of Directors and became the official governing body of the national organization.  The Board of Trustees was renamed the Board of Student Officers.  According to the charter, the official duties of the students were to advise and make recommendations to the Board of Directors with respect to the conduct of activities and business of the corporation.  The national student officers had the right to participate in the board meetings as voting members, but no longer were the sole authority.  They made motions to the board which were sustained by an adult member and participated actively in those meetings.   After the charter, the Board began to meet three times annually.  When the board is not in session, a governing committee composed of the board chairman (National FFA Advisor) and two members of the chairman's staff, has the authority of the board to make decisions that require immediate attention.  The board continues to operate in this manner.

The development of leadership skills in members is an important aspect of the educational programs sponsored by the FFA.  Leadership is encouraged through the election of student officers at the chapter, state, and national levels; participation in leadership conferences; international experience; and award programs that emphasize skill and leadership abilities.  Degrees earned recognize the increasing accomplishments of members at the local and state levels culminating in the American FFA Degree at the national level.  The FFA's programs are highlighted at the National FFA Convention through the presentation of awards and demonstrations of skill in chosen fields of study.

The National Convention is an annual event held by the organization.  The main functions of the convention are the presentation of awards and the conducting of organizational business.  FFA members are represented at the business sessions by delegates from each state.  These delegates are selected by the state organization and are given the authority to vote on matters affecting the organization.  Each state is allowed at least two delegates and may send more based on the size of the state association.  The business session of the convention is run by the student officers and operates by the rules of parliamentary procedure.  Delegates are divided into committees that discuss relevant issues and report their recommendations to the convention.  These items are discussed and voted on by the entire group.  All changes to the constitution must be ratified by the delegates and approved by the Board of Directors. Since the Board bears legal responsibility over the actions of the organization, it has the power of veto on all actions approved by the convention delegates.  The convention delegates also elect the national officers based on the candidates who meet the qualifications and are approved by the board.

The administration of the FFA is carried out at the National FFA Headquarters, the policy making branch, and the National FFA Center, the implementation branch.  Originally, the small staff of the organization allowed the center of operations to be housed in the U.S. Office of Education with the National Advisor and Executive Secretary.  As the organization began to grow and the Office of Education realized the need for the FFA to operate separate from the government office, a plan for a national center developed.  In 1959, the National FFA Center in Alexandria, Virginia, was dedicated and the FFA operations moved to the center. 

Currently, the National FFA Headquarters is located in Alexandria, Virginia, and has a direct connection to the U.S. Department of Education.  Three main purposes direct the activities of the National Headquarters: 1) to provide strategic direction, 2) fulfill certain legal requirements, and 3) to develop and oversee policy. The personnel at the headquarters responsible for carrying out these duties are the National Advisor and the Executive Secretary (See Appendix A for a complete listing of the leaders.).  The National Advisor is the chief administrator of the FFA and the National FFA Foundation.  Responsibilities of the National Advisor include chairing the FFA Board of Directors and the Foundation Board of Trustees; supporting and guiding the organization; advising student officers; and reviewing individually all applications for the American FFA Degree.  The Executive Secretary arranges all board meetings; plans and oversees the arrangements for the National Convention; keeps records of the corporation, boards, national officers, and convention delegates; issues charters to state associations; and assists the advisor in the guidance and policy development of the organization. 

The National FFA Center, relocated to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1997, is responsible for the program development and implementation for the organization.   Divided into ten teams and administered by the Chief Operating Officer, it is the main resource for events and information about the organization.  All marketing, distribution, and student services originate at the center.  The Alumni Association and the National FFA Foundation also operate from the National FFA Center.


National FFA Organization. "National FFA Organization Homepage," http://www.ffa.org.

"Federal Charter for the Future Farmers of America 1950," (P.L. 81-740), United States Statutes at Large. Stat. 2868.

Tenney, A. Webster.  The FFA at 50: 1928-1978.  Alexandria: FFA Supply Service, 1977. (IUPUI University Library call number SPEC COLL S533.F8 T39)


Agricultural Education. Danville: Interstate Printers and Publishers, 1934-1995. (IUPUI University Library call number SPEC COLL S530.A3)

Agricultural Educators Directory. Greensburg: Charles M. Henry Printing Company, 1953-1997. (IUPUI University Library call number SPEC COLL S533.A271)

American Farm Youth. Danville: Interstate Printers and Publishers, 1935-1961. (IUPUI University Library call number SPEC COLL S1.A447)

Bender, Ralph E., Robert E. Taylor, Chester K. Hansen, and L.H. Newcomb.  The FFA and You.  Danville: The Interstate, 1979.  (IUPUI University Library call number SPEC COLL S533.F8 B4 1979)

Chapman, Paul W.  The Green Hand: A Story of the FFA.  Chicago: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1932.       (IUPUI University Library call number SPEC COLL PS1292.C437 G7 1932)                    

Farrar, John.  FFA at 25.  Alexandria: FFA Supply Service, 1956.   (IUPUI University Library call number SPEC COLL S533.F8 F888 1956)

Fields, M.A. New Farmers of America: 25 Years of Accomplishment.  Washington D.C.: New Farmers of America, 1960. (IUPUI University Library call number SPEC COLL S533.N49 F545 1959)

National FFA Organization. "National FFA Organization Homepage," http://www.ffa.org/.

New Horizons (previously National Future Farmer) Alexandria: National FFA Organization, 1952-2009. (IUPUI University Library call number SPEC COLL S1.F97)

Ross, William Arthur. Forward FFA: Leadership for Future Farmers, Agriculturists and Advisors.  Baltimore: The French-Bray Printing Company, 1964.  (IUPUI University Library call number SPEC COLL S533.F8 R677 1964)           

Strickland, Cecil L., Sr.  New Farmers of America in Retrospect: The Formative Years 1935-1965.  Hempstead: Joyco Printing, 1994. (IUPUI University Library call number SPEC COLL S533.N49 S775 1995)

Tenney, A.W.  FFA in Action.  Washington D.C.: FFA, 1945.  (IUPUI University Library call number SPEC COLL S1 .F97 1945)

Tenney, A.W.  FFA in Action.  Washington D.C.: FFA, 1947.  (IUPUI University Library call number SPEC COLL S1 .F97 1947)


The records of the National FFA Organization contain extensive documentation of the organization, its programs and activities, and its leadership.  Although the administrative records contain scattered internal information related to National Advisors and Executive Secretaries, the minutes of the Board of Directors is complete.  Other highlights in the collection include the records of the international programs documenting the growth of student exchange programs and future farmer organizations in other countries; public relations activities that include press releases, calendars, and FFA Week materials; and National Conventions that contain a complete set of proceedings from 1928-1998, press releases about award winners, and scripts of pageants performed at the conventions.   A sense of rural America is fostered through radio program scripts from the 1930s and 1940s and a massive collection of photographs documenting the growth and changes in rural agriculture in the United States from the late 1920s to the present, national award winners in FFA contests, National Student Officers, and adult leaders in the organization. 

Board of Directors Records, 1928-2005, consist of the newsletter, Board Issues, board minutes and index, and correspondence.  Board Issues is sent to members involved with the Board of Directors, the Board of National Student Officers, and the Foundation Board of Trustees.  It discusses issues from the meetings that directly affect the national organization. A complete set of the Board minutes, 1928-1996, document all major decisions within the National FFA Organization.  For Board minutes prior to 1957 there is an index available arranged by topic.  For more in depth information there are scattered committee reports located within this series.  Further information about the board and the decisions made by the student membership can be found in the National FFA Convention proceedings located in the National Convention records. 

National Officer Records, 1928-2004, consist of correspondence, biographies, and press releases.  These records document the activities of the six national officers elected annually.  The early files, 1928-1964, contain correspondence to and from the officers and fully document their activities during their terms.  Biographical information for these years can be found in press releases about the new officers and their outstanding accomplishments.  Later files contain less correspondence and more direct biographical information.  The Goodwill Tour Booklets are a mostly complete set, 1967-2000, of biographical information about each of the national officers.  The Goodwill Tour is a nation-wide trip by the national officers to thank supporters of the organization.

Administration Records, 1928-2008, contain correspondence, articles, publications, audits, and reports.  The administration files are divided into two main groups: administrative officers and office files.  The administrative officer files are the records of the National Advisors, Executive Secretaries, and other important officials who serve the National FFA Organization.  These files contain information about trips, responsibilities, and problems occurring during their tenure. The records in this series can also be used to find information regarding important people, events, and programs within the national organization. The records of only two of the Executive Secretaries, William A. Ross and William Paul Gray, are found in this collection.  A combination of the Executive Secretary, National Advisor, and other officers' records gives the researcher an overview of all major developments of the organization. The most extensive documentation is found in the files of E.J. Johnson, a program officer during the 1940s-1960s, and William Paul Gray.  Executive Secretary William Arthur Ross's files contain important information regarding the early organization and how its programs developed.  An important section to review is the memos written by Ross to his supervisor reporting on his activities.  This ten year run of records, 1929-1939, contains an index organized by date and title. 

The second group of records is the office files.  These records deal with how the whole organization operates rather than just the officers.  Contained in this series are the most complete financial and policy records as well as important legal battles that affected the way the FFA operates.  The National FFA Constitution and Federal Charter can be found with these records.

State Association Records, 1919-1998, consist of newsletters, correspondence, annual reports, written histories, state charters, and articles about the activities of the state FFA associations.  The records are arranged alphabetically by state.  The strength of these records are the information about state organizations and activities prior to 1960.   Another important state activity was the creation of scrapbooks.  The scrapbooks were submitted to the national organization by each state as a part of a national contest between the states and accurately demonstrate the activities of the chapters within the state associations.  The scrapbooks of Illinois and Nebraska are retained as a representative sampling.  The annual reports submitted in 1987-1990 are individual reports collected from each state.  The reports prior to 1960 are based on individual state reports, but are compiled into one large, national report on the states.  The records include all fifty states plus Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.  These records do not fully document the histories of the state organizations, but provide insights into how the national and state organizations interacted and how early state associations operated.

History Records, 1916-2003, contain biographies, histories, news clippings, and press releases important to the history of the national organization.  These records are organized by subject and name and arranged alphabetically.  These records are a quick source for biographical data on important leaders and background information on the traditions and movements of the organization.  The series offers a large variety of both current and historical names and events associated with the organization.  Information about national officers is not located in these records, but is found in the National Officer Records series. 

National Convention Records, 1925-2008, consist of correspondence, programs, proceedings, press releases, and other materials related to the National FFA Conventions.  The series is arranged chronologically starting with some records that predate the formation of the FFA but are related the National Congress of Vocational Agricultural Students, predecessor of the National FFA Convention.  The Agricultural Career Show records are also included.  The Career Show, similar to a job fair, is held annually in conjunction with the National Convention.  The records consist mainly of informational packets about the Career Show each year.  Each convention produces similar types of records that are organized under three main headings: clippings, printed materials, and scrapbooks.

The clippings section contains newspaper and magazine articles mainly from the Kansas City, Missouri area related to the events at the conventions.

The printed materials section contains all of the programs, proceedings, and booklets that are produced for the convention.  This collection contains a complete set of convention proceedings that are informative because they document every important event at the convention.  Retiring officer addresses, minutes of the business sessions, awards information, and, in the early years, the four public speeches were all printed in the proceedings.

The final section is the scrapbooks that contains press releases, correspondence, and informational hand-outs.  The scrapbooks also contain information about awards, general information such as convention summaries and highlights, scripts, and speeches.  Other information about the awards given at the convention can be found in the Foundation Series under awards, in the State Records, and in the Awards Series.

Award Records, 1926-2005, consist of handbooks, award books, award entries, and correspondence.  These records deal largely with contest descriptions, proposals, correspondence related to the founding of a contest, and published materials about the awards. The best place to find a list of award winners is at the end of this series under Winners-Compiled List for the years up to 1976.  Some information about specific winners can be found in the winner booklets, but complete lists of winners from every contest is published in the proceedings of the National Convention each year and in the Convention news releases, located in the National Convention Records.   Further information can also be found with the National Foundation Records.  These records include yearly lists of foundation award winners in the foundation annual reports, booklets about the award given by the foundation, and award allotments books. This series is arranged alphabetically by the name of the award.  In many cases, names of awards have changed and the records are generally filed under the current name with a notation of the earlier name.  

Program Records, 1926-2007, consist of correspondence, newsletters, brochures, radio scripts, other public relations material, and publications.  This section contains the records for the programs initiated by the National FFA Organization at the chapter, state, national, and international level.  Important features of this series include international files, the Building Our American Communities (BOAC) files, leadership files, and the public relations records.  The international files include the organization's correspondence with foreign countries relating to agricultural exchange programs for FFA members and relating to the formation of foreign future farmer organizations such as the Future Farmers of Japan and the Future Farmers of the Philippines.  The Building Our American Communities Program (BOAC) began in 1971 as a way to foster community development through FFA partnerships with local community groups.  National winners were recognized and awarded at the National Convention.   The BOAC files include information about the program as well as the winners of the awards.  The public relations files contain the official FFA Calendars, FFA Week publicity, and radio scripts from the 1930s-1940s.  These records contain phenomenal information about the programs the FFA uses, past and present, to foster public awareness.   Other items in this series include World War II programs that were designed to help win the war on the home front, career recruitment, FFA recruitment, and other programs designed to involve the community and elementary-aged children with the activities of the FFA. 

Publications, 1928-2008, consist of handbooks, manuals, newsletters, articles, books, theses and research studies published by and about the FFA.  The FFA's national magazine, New Horizons, previously titled The National Future Farmer, is individually catalogued (call number S1.F97) and located in Special Collections and Archives.  It also available online at https://archives.iupui.edu/handle/2450/2473.  Other magazines related to agricultural education and the FFA includes American Farm Youth (call number), Agricultural Education (call number), and the Agricultural Educators Directory (call number).

There are two different types of newsletters in this series: advisor and general.  The advisor newsletter is called FFA Advisors Making a Difference.  Prior to 1992 this newsletter was called Between Issues.  Originally the Between Issues newsletter was sent out between issues of the National Future Farmer.  It contained information about important events and activities.  The newsletter gradually evolved into an advisor's newsletter containing ideas and teaching tools.  The general newsletter, called Update, is a monthly informational newsletter about the FFA sent to members, advisors, government officials, and anyone involved or interested in the events and activities of the organization.  This monthly newsletter is a reminder of upcoming events sent monthly.

The FFA publishes an annual FFA Manual for its members, reflecting changes in the structure and procedures used by the organization.  The set of manuals in this collection is incomplete until 1961.  The handbooks are published for students, teachers, and officers in the organization.  They explain specific roles in the organization that a person may fill whether that be a national officer, a chapter reporter, or an FFA advisor.

The articles and magazines located in this series are published by other groups.  These articles have special FFA features and include anniversary celebrations and special recognition for the organization.  Time, Newsweek, and Farm Journal are among the magazines.

Alumni Association Records, 1969-2003, include meeting minutes, reports, newsletters, and publications.  The main function of the Alumni Association is to support the programs of the National FFA Organization.  The Alumni Association holds an annual convention, provides scholarships to FFA members, and raises awareness for agricultural education through auctions and other promotional activities.   A complete set of the Alumni Council minutes, 1970-1995, and its membership lists explain how the governing body works.  The newsletter, 1972-1995, is the best source for documenting their activities.  Also included with these records are theNational FFA Center Affiliate Records, 1972-1980, which consist of minutes, membership lists, activity records, and a constitution.  The FFA Center Affiliate was created solely for the involvement of the National FFA Center staff.

National FFA Foundation Records, 1944-2005, consist of annual reports, audits, board minutes, donor lists, short histories, budget information, and papers documenting the foundation's incorporation.  The foundation was formed in 1944 to raise money for the National FFA Organization and to fund awards to its members.  The annual reports are a good source of information about foundation donors and award winners.  All but three (1970, 1989, and 1996) of the foundation annual reports are available.  It is probable that the foundation was unable to publish reports for those three years based on a note in the 1969 report explaining that the lack of funding would not allow an annual report to be published.  It may also be true for the other two years.  Reports between 1945 and 1965 contain information about both the FFA and the NFA awards. 

Other documents relating to the awards are the booklets produced describing various foundation awards.  Information on the finances of the foundation can be found in three different places: audit reports, budgets, and bulletins.  The bulletins are important not only for the budget information, but also because they describe the yearly requirements for the distribution of the foundation money.

Photographs, 1916-2007,are arranged in two different categories: magazine photographs and subject photographs.  The magazine photographs include images used in the FFA publications: The National Future Farmer/New Horizons and Between Issues/FFA Advisors Making a Difference.  These photographs are arranged chronologically by issue.  Photographs from the magazines are useful on a limited basis because there is no index to the magazine.  An image can only be found based on the issue or with basic knowledge about the time frame in which a specific event occurred.  The subject photographs are arranged alphabetically under a series of subject headings created by the National FFA Organization.  The headings represent the activities, programs, and personalities within the organization.  Photographs of the National Conventions, National Officers, and American Stars are the most valuable sources of information, contain the most complete sets of photographs, and are the best identified.  An index has been created to assist with the location of National Officers (see Appendix B).   Another complete and well-identified series is the staff photographs, including the National Advisors and the National Executive Secretaries.

Slides, 1952-1995, are from the national magazine, calendar, and slide shows often included as part of the National FFA Convention program.  Early slides often include only the magazine and calendar covers.  Paintings were commissioned annually by the National FFA Organization to be used as calendar covers and for other promotional activities during that year.   The magazine and calendar slides are arranged chronologically.  The most beneficial part of the slide collection is the slide shows, generally from the late 1970s-1980s.  The slides emphasize visually the programs, activities, and events sponsored by the National FFA Organization.  Although some presentations are missing pieces, most contain a script, set of slides and an audio cassette.  The slide shows are arranged alphabetically by title.

Audio-Visual Materials, 1935-2003, consist of audio cassettes, reel to reel recordings, video tapes, and films.  Oral history interviews, convention recordings, and promotional campaigns are included in this collection.  The collection includes a sampling of convention video sets, promotional videos such as commercials, historic videos, and classroom instructional videos.  A sampling of the convention videos is made based on milestone events occurring during that year.  For example, the 1987 National FFA Convention highlights major changes occurring within the organization.  The main portion of the collection is from the 1970s-1990s.  One of the oldest films, called The Greenhand, ca.1935, documents chapter activities and the initiation of new members.


Board of Directors Records, 1928-2005  
 Board Issues, 1992-199511
  Finance Committee, 1970-1973, 198012
  Governing Committee, 1951-197113
  Public Relations, 196914
  Research Committee, 198015
  Study Committee, 1964-196516
 Correspondence, 1978-198918
 Meeting Packets, 20006912-13
  2000-2005  Available in eArchives (https://archives.iupui.edu/dspace/handle/2450/143)  
 Index to Board Minutes, 1930s-1960s275-76
National Officer Records, 1928-2004  
 Biography and Goodwill Tour Booklets, 1967-1990/91, 1992/93, 1994/95-2000/01, 2002/03-2005/0631
 Compiled List of Officers, 1928-196132
  1958/59-1967/68, 1971/72-1975/76, 1977/78-1978/7941-25
  1979/80-1991/92, 1993/93-1995/9651-18
  2000/01, 2002/036915
 Journals, 2001/02-2003/04 Available in eArchives (https://archives.iupui.edu/dspace/handle/2450/149)  
 Press Releases, 1946-1970519-20
 Review Committee Report by National Officers, 1985521
Administration Records, 1928-2008  
 Executives Secretaries  
  William Arthur Ross  
   “Activity Guide,” 1930-1938522-24
   Circulars, 1930-1931, 1934525
    Index to Memos, 1929-193968
   Service Letters, 1930-193969-10
   State Correspondence, 1939-1942611
   U.S. Army Band, 1931-1943612
  William Paul Gray  
   Agricultural Mechanics Class, 1956613
   Collegiate FFA Chapters, 1971614-16
   Convention Planning, 1958, 1960-1964617-22
    Board, 1969-1972623
    Convention, 1973718
    Don McDowell, Executive Director of FFA Foundation, 1972-1973719
    Foreign (by country)  
    General (by state)  
    Inter-Office Memos, 1964-1968, 1971-1973121-5
    Job Title, 1970-1973126
    Office of Education, 1972127
    State, 1963-1968, 1970-1971, 1973128
   Foreign Reports  
    A.W. Tenney Reports, 1956, 1965129
    E.J. Johnson Reports, 1957, 19611210-11
    Far East Report, Gray, 19591212
   Future Farmers of the Philippines, 19621213
   Information on Outstanding Former FFA Officers, 1961-19621214-15
 National Advisors  
  W. T. Spanton  
   Correspondence, 1927-1934, 1956, 19591216
   Scrapbooks, 19611361-2
  A.W. Tenney, 1946, 1962, 19641217
  H. Neville  Hunsicker  
   Activities, 1948-19491218
   Agriculture/Agribusiness News and Notes, 1974-19791219-20
   Articles, 1968-19741221
   AVA Award of Merit, 19821222
    Committee on Revision of P.L. 81-740, 1955-19731223
    National USOE/DVTE Committee, 19771224-25
    General Seminars and Conferences, 1971-19751226
    National Seminar for Leaders in Post-Secondary Institutions, 1973-19741227
    North Atlantic Regional Research Conference  
    Regional Conferences, 1963132
    Board of Directors, 1968-1977133
    Foundation, 1968-1974134-5
    General, 1960-1965, 1969-1977136-7
    Legal, 1969-1979138
   District of Columbia Greenhouse Project, 1963-1967139
   Farm Labor and Minors, 1967-19691310
   FFA History, 1966-19761311
   FFA Libraries, ca. 19501312
   FFA Reorganization, 1967-1968, 19711313
   FFA Trucks, 19571314
   Office of Education Reorganization, 1963-19701315
   Past State Officers Club, 1953-19561316
   Post-Secondary Education, 19721317
   Retirement, 1979-19831318
   Speeches, 1960-19801319
   Statistical Information, 1960-19791320
   West Virginia FFA-FHA Camp  
    Articles, 1950-19701321
    Brochures, 1950-19701322
    Correspondence, 1952-19641323
  Byron Rawls  
   Leadership Structure for Vocational Agriculture  
    Correspondence, 1981-19831324-25
    Reports, 1982-19831326
   Publicity Touring Program, 19811327
  Larry Case  
   Ad Hoc Policy Committee Meeting, 19931328
   Agriculture Study of the National Academy of Sciences (diversity), 1984-19861329
   America 2000  
   Correspondence, 1983-1986, 1993142-16
   The Council, 1985-19861417
   FFA Center Relocation  
    Board Meeting, 19961418
    Correspondence, 19961419
    Reports, 19961420-21
   Long-Range Planning Committee  
    Consultants, 19941422
    Memorandum of Understanding, 19941423
    Minutes, 19941424
   Multicultural Task Force  
    A Report on State Minority and Majority Student Populations of FFA Chapters, ca. 1990s151
    Articles on Diversity, 1993-1994152
    Correspondence, 1992-1994153
    Report, 1992-1993154
   Policy Update Committee, 1993155
   Vision 2000  
    Action Plan, 1995156
    Conference, 1994157
    Correspondence, 1994-1995158
    Cultural Issues, 1991-1992159
    Strategic Plan, 19941510
    Task Force, 19941511
    Workgroup I, 19941512
    Workgroup II, 19941513
 Other Officers  
  W.P. Beard, Specialist in Agricultural Education, 1940-19411514
  Lennie Gamage, Manger, International Programs, 1973-19741515-26
  Elmer J. Johnson, Program Specialist in Agricultural Education, Federal Agent for the Agricultural Education Service, FFA Consultant, Archives Chairman  
   Advisory Committees, 1947-19621527
    Correspondence, 1966-1977161
    Reports, 1967-1968162
   Biographical Information, 1926-1970163
    Circulars, 1944-1963164-6
    Circulars - Awards, 1960-1965167-8
    Letters Received, 1942-1967169
    Memos, 1942-19651610-22
    Memo Index, 1942-1965171
    Notes to Staff, 1941-1942172
    Rumsfeld Correspondence, 1967-1969173
   Fort Morgan Colorado Chapter, 1967174
   Hawaii Summer School, 1956-1957175
   Leadership for FFA, 1950-1970176
   Nine Studies on FFA Foundation, 1966177
   Pacific Region  
    Annual Report, 1920-1921178
    Conference Reports, 1945-1946, 1953-1954, 1956-1958, 1960-1964, 1966-1967179-11
    Farm Mechanics Conference, 19461712
    Public Speaking Contest, 1933-1937, 1940-1964, 19681713-26
    Teacher Training Workshops, 19461727
   Peru Trip  
    Articles and Reports, 1957-19611728
    Correspondence, 1960-19661729
    Articles, 1930s-1960s1730-31
    Reports, 1940-19651732-34
    Speeches, 1947-1967181-2
    Vocational Education in Agriculture, 1960183-4
    W.T. Spanton Biographical Information, 1947-1971185
   Staff Conferences, 1935-1942186
   State Reports, 1960187
  D.L. MacDonald, Agent for the Agricultural Education Service, 1942188
  Duane Nielsen, Specialist in Teacher Training and Research, 1960-1964189
 Office Files  
  Audits and Finance  
   Audits, 1932-19961810-20
    1954-1969, 1977-1978, 1980-19831821-24
   Consolidated Audits, 1964-1971194
   Correspondence Regarding Audits, 1964-1973195-6
   Financial Report, 1989197
  Automatic Data Processing Feasibility Study, 1980198
   American Institute of Cooperation Summer Conference, 1965199
   Collegiate Agricultural Education Workshop, 1979-19801910-11
   Emphasis ‘76 Workshop, 19761912
   Farmfest, 19761913
   International Agricultural Education, 19851914-15
   National Conference for Leaders in Postsecondary and Adult Education in Agriculture, 19861916-20
   National Conference of Head State Supervisors of Vocational Education in Agriculture, 19601921
   National Conference on Building Partnerships for Quality Education in Rural America, 19841922
   National Conference on Children and Youth, 19701923
   National FFA Seminar, 19721924
   National Seminar on Agricultural Education, 19761925
   National Workshop for Professional Leaders in the FFA, 19691926
   National Youth Conference on Natural Beauty and Conservation, 19661927
   New Teacher Conference, n.d.6916
   Thrust ‘75 Workshop, 19751928
   Young Outdoor American Conference, 1954-19551929-30
   Young Outdoor American Conference, 1956201
  Endowment and Development Fund, 1975-1976202
  George Washington’s Grist Mill, 1940-1960203
  Key Messages of the National FFA Organization, 1996, 1998, 20006917
  Legal Files  
   Alumni Association, 1969-1970, 1975204
   Arizona Case, 1979-1980205-6
   Attorney Files, 1945, 1964, 1969-1982207-12
   Board of Directors, 1969, 1971-19722013
   Certificate of Incorporation and Legal Documents, 1928, 1951, 1957, 1977 (oversized)732
   Chapter Supply Company, 1951-19552014
   Civil Service, 19612015
   Conference Center, 1969-1970, 19742016
    Amendment to FFA Constitution, 19882017
    Board of Incorporators, 1928-19492018
    Constitution/Bylaws Ad Hoc Committee Reports, 19662019
    Constitution and Revisions, 1928-19442020
   Copyright, 1937-1950, 19932021
   Custom Cal Company, 1952, 1955, 19652022
   Emblem Lawsuits, 1945, 1953-1955, 1961-1963211-2
   FFA Charter, 1929-1930, 1948-1952, 1969213-4
   Francis Reid Case, 1970-1971215
   Girl Membership, 1967-1970216
   Holt Case, 1970-1971217
   Interstate Commerce, 1949-1952218
   Legal Opinions, 1945-1977, 1979-1983219-11
   Legal Opinions Regarding Administration of Vocational Education and Vocation Rehabilitation Acts, 19392112-13
   Legislation, 1945-1950, 19772114
   Missouri Case, 1979-19802115
   Misuse of Name, 19752116
   Oregon Lawsuit, 1980-19832117
   Rumsfeld Case  
    Correspondence, 1967-19702118
    Response, 1967-19702119
   Sale of the FFA Lot, 1959-19642120
   Tax Issues  
    Chapter Tax Exemption, 1961-19642121
    FFA Reports on Chapter Status with the I.R.S., 1939-19802122-23
    Income Tax Returns, 1944-19762124-25
    I.R.S., 1970-1980221-2
    Tax Exemption, 1954-1971223
   Trademark, 1939-1947, 1957-1980224-5
   Walter B. Anderson Will, 1977226
  Mission Statement, 1992-1994227
  Multicultural Task Force Report, 1993228
  National Association of Supervisors of Agricultural Education (NASAE)  
   Administration, 1969-19996918
   Annual Meetings, 1987-1994, 1996, 1998-20046919-30
   Annual Reports  
    1970-1971, 1975-1977, 1979-19806931
   Articles of Incorporation, 1963 (oversized)735
   Constitution, 1963-1974, 1998705
   Correspondence, 1978-1979706
   Members, 1970-1974, 1998/99-2004707-11
   Minutes, 1963-1976, 1981-1982, 1986-19897012-14
   Newsletter, 1974-1979, 19817015
   Officer Analysis, 20037016
   Oklahoma Vocational Agriculture-Agribusiness and FFA Task Force, ca. 19877017
   Position Papers, n.d.7018
   Program of Work, 1989, 1991-1993, 1995-2003/047019
   Tactical Plan for Achieving the Mission, Goals, and Objectives of Agricultural Education, 19917020
   Western Region Conference, 19937021
  National Committee on Youth Organizations, 1974-1980229
  National FFA Agrimarketing Study Committee, 19872210
  National FFA Center  
   Employee Handbook, 19997023
   Groundbreaking, 19977024
   History, 1967-19772211
   Interior Space Plan Design Concept, ca. 1980s2212
   Interns, 1982-19902213
   Job Descriptions, n.d.2214
   New Building, 1997 (oversized)OV4
   Office Newsletters  
    Weekly Bulletin, 1975-19812215-16
    Family Gram, 1981-19842217
    Weekly Memos  
   Official Policies  
    1970-1971, 1976, 1978, 1984, 1986, 19912221-28
   Policy Administration Analysis, 19662229
   Program of Work, 1939-1943, 1945-1946, 1971, 1973-19792230-36
   Reinventing FFA Center Operations, 1991-1992, 19942237
   Relocation, 1993-19992238
   Relocation Publicity Materials, 1997 (oversized)733
   Resource Management Team Final Report, 19912239
   Retirement and Insurance, 1955, 1967-19682240
   Site Study Plan, n.d. (oversized)736
   Space and Personnel, 1951, 1967231
   Tours, ca. 19991212
   Washington Conference Center, 1969-1970232-4
   Who’s Who, ca. 1997235
  National Future Farmer/New Horizons Magazine Business Records  
   Annual Reports, 1954-1956, 1958-1961, 1964236
   Article Index, 1961-19651286
   Audits, 1953-1974, 1976-1978         237-9
   Economic Studies, 1952-19542310
   Future Farmers in Action, 19452311
   History, 19762312
   Magazine Feasibility Survey, 19522313
   Name Change, 19892314
   Promotion, 1952-19792315
   Publications, 19572316
   Surveys, 1954-1959, 1961-1962, 1964-1970, 1975, 1979-1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, 19892317-20
  National Postsecondary Agricultural Student Organization (NPASO)  
   Annual Reports, 1994-19962321
   Awards, 1985-19932322
   Board of Directors Meetings, 1980-19822323-26
   Charter, 1979 (oversized)735
    2003, 20051287
   Correspondence, 1972-19862329-30
   General Information, 1981-19902331
    1981-1992, 1994-19952332-33
    2000/01, 2002/031288
   History, 1979-1997242
   Newsletters, 1980-1997, 2002-2003243
   PAL Project, 1981244-5
   PAL/PEER Project, 1981-1985246
   Programs, 1972, 1979-1980, 1984247
   Professional Leadership and Service - 1948-1973, 1974248
   Proposals, 1976, 1980249
  Organizational Objectives and Principles, 19712410
  Public Relations  
   America Salutes the FFA, 1986-19872411-12
   FFA Is…, 19961239
   FFA Today T.V. Show, 19892415
    1927-2006 (oversized)7310
    1999-2000, 2007 (oversized)OV1
   Press Releases  
   Secretary Riley Visit, 199812311
  Selected Statistics, 1970-1995281-4
  State Associations  
   Incorporation of States, 1979285
   Relationship to State Associations and Chapters, 1979286
  Staff Meeting, 1958-1959, 1969-1970287
  Student Ventures/Supply Service  
   Audits, 1948-1971288-31
    Agricultural Education Resources, 1996, 1999-20061214
    Blue Catalogs  
    Chapter Catalogs  
    Gold Catalogs  
    NVATA Catalogs, 1968, 1982294
    Student Catalogs, 1992/93-1996/97, 1998/99-1999/001218
    Supply Catalogs  
     1943-1946, 1948-1949, 1951-19862832-41
   Committee Minutes, 1947-1949295
   Contracts, 1928-1947296-18
   Correspondence, 1930-19652919-28
   Grants, 19512929
   History, 19672930
   Newsletter, n.d.2931
   Staff, 1947-19552932
  Tactical Plan for the Strategic Plan for Agricultural Education, 19902933
  U.S. Office of Education, 1959, 1970, 19792934
  U.S. Office of Education Policy on Agricultural Student Organizations, 1981 (oversized)735
 Annual Reports  
  1930, 1932, 1936, 1940-1944, 1951-1952 (oversized)711-10
  1931, 1939, 1944, 1947-19522935-43
  1932, 1934-1935 (oversized)OV1
 Charters, 1928-19762944-47
  1924-1928 (oversized)791-2
  1929-1935 (oversized)801-2
 State Advisors Meeting Minutes, 1941-19432948
State Association Records, 1919-1998   
 State Associations  
   Annual Reports, 1987-19902949

“I believe in the future of agriculture …”

If you donned a blue corduroy jacket during your high school days, those words hit a special place in your heart. They mark the beginning of the FFA Creed, a five-paragraph essay that eloquently explains the mission of one of the nation’s largest and oldest youth organizations, the FFA.

Each time I read the creed, I am filled with pride. It makes me so proud to have “lived and worked on a good farm,” to have a first-hand understanding of the “joys and discomforts of agricultural life” and to have witnessed “achievements won by present and past generations of agriculturalists.”

But sometimes it also leaves me wondering … will the youth of today embrace those values? How will they experience agriculture if they aren’t born into it?

Just when I was about to lose hope, a knock on the door restored it. It was my neighbor girl, Aren, coming over to practice the FFA Creed for an upcoming speaking contest. As a high school freshman, she was new to FFA.

No one in her family was involved with farming in any way, but she spent a lot of time hanging out around the hobby farms in our neighborhood – riding horses, chasing chickens and feeding baby calves. She even showed up enthusiastically to help bale small squares of hay (using a baler without a kicker, I might add).

As she stood in my living room, perfectly projecting the powerful phrases, I couldn’t just hear them; I could feel them. There was passion behind what she was saying. I realized there is hope for the future of agriculture, and I was looking right at it.

With fewer and fewer farms, the traditional “farm kid” may be a dying breed, but organizations like FFA are propagating a new hybrid of students and cultivating their skills in public speaking and leadership.

Agriculture needs kids like Aren. We need to give them a taste of the way of life we value so they can share in it with us. You see, even if she doesn’t pursue a career in agriculture, she will go out into the world with the knowledge to make informed choices, and she will have the ability to articulate her thoughts and opinions.

She will be a credible key influencer among her peers because her agriculture experience will be greater than most people around her.

I believe in the future of agriculture because kids like Aren prove you can learn to love something even if you are not born into it, but it’s up to those of us who were to reach out.

So in the words of E.M. Tiffany, how will you “exert an influence” on this impressionable generation of youth? What will be your “part in that inspiring task?”  PD

The FFA Creed
By E.M. Tiffany

I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds – achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years.

I believe that to live and work on a good farm, or to be engaged in other agricultural pursuits, is pleasant as well as challenging; for I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny.

I believe in leadership from ourselves and respect from others. I believe in my own ability to work efficiently and think clearly, with such knowledge and skill as I can secure, and in the ability of progressive agriculturists to serve our own and the public interest in producing and marketing the product of our toil.

I believe in less dependence on begging and more power in bargaining; in the life abundant and enough honest wealth to help make it so – for others as well as myself; in less need for charity and more of it when needed; in being happy myself and playing square with those whose happiness depends upon me.

I believe that American agriculture can and will hold true to the best traditions of our nationallife and that I can exert an influence in my home and community which will stand solid for my part in that inspiring task.


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