Texas FFA announced its membership total is now 80,000, keeping the title of the nation’s largest state FFA association. California is ranked second with 68,271 students.
Texas FFA gained 11,319 members between 2008-09 and 2009-10, the single greatest one-year membership increases in the association’s 82-year history. According to National FFA Advisor Larry D. Case, it is likely the largest single year membership increase for a state association in the national organization’s history.
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.
Quardrie Lavan of the North Forest FFA chapter, located in the Houston area, is the Association’s 80,000th member. He was added to the roster system at 11:52 a.m. on Thursday, December 2, 2010. Lavan, a senior at North Forest High School, is a first-year member of Texas FFA, and he is raising a pig to show this spring. In addition to being a Texas FFA member, Lavan played as a linebacker for North Forest High School’s varsity football team. Upon graduation, he is interested in pursuing a career in the culinary arts in agriculture.
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Texas FFA has evolved from an organization focusing primarily on production agriculture, to a broader-based encompassing organization that addresses the needs and interests of students in urban and suburban schools in addition to the rural communities from which FFA rose in 1929.