Texas FFA was recognized for the nation’s top membership gain and the third greatest percentage membership gain. Texas FFA gained 11,319 members between 2008-09 and 2009-10, the single greatest one-year membership increase in the associations 82-year history. According to National FFA Advisor Larry D. Case, it is likely the large single year membership increase for a state association in the national organization’s history.
Texas FFA membership is now 74,436, making it the nation’s largest state FFA association. California is ranked second with 68,271 students.
The national organization experienced a net gain of 17,100 members. Two-thirds of the gain was the result of the Texas FFA’s record increase.
The bulge in the state’s membership rolls is the result of a program through which chapters can affiliate with the state and national organization on the basis of enrollment in the agricultural education instructional program instead of students paying individual membership dues. This is similar to how schools affiliate with the state’s University Interscholastic League which governs extracurricular athletic, music and literary activities.
Previously, the largest student membership gain was between school years 1963-64 and 1964-65 when the state’s New Farmers of America chapters became FFA chapters in a merger between the two agricultural education student organizations. The NFA was a parallel organization for African-American students who attended segregated schools prior to desegregation brought about by the landmark Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Topeka Board of Education. Texas gained 10,523 in 1964-65, which included 9,503 NFA members from the merger.
Texas was ranked third in percent membership gain, with an 18% gain. Massachusetts, which adopted the affiliation model, experienced an 83% membership increase, jumping from 990 students in 2008-09 to 1,813 in 2009-10.
Texas is recognized for a record-breaking membership increase. National FFA Advisor Dr. Larry D. Case along with Texas FFA student FFA officers Patrick Byrne, Eagle Pass; Gavin Luckett, Turkey; Katelyn Perry, Iowa Park; Colt Gresham, Garrison; Calan Ahrens, Alpine; Daylon Koster, Cedar Park; Tanner Smith., Carlisle; Leslie Johnson, Sadler; Will Ellis, Midlothian; Mason Parrish; National FFA Executive Secretary Dr. Steve Brown.