We Welcome Jim Connors from the University of Idaho back for Part II of the What’s In A Name Friday Footnote.
What’s In A Name?
Part 2: State Associations
Dr. James J. Connors
In part one of this Friday Footnote we looked at the correct name for the National FFA Organization and proposed name changes over the decades. Today, we will look at state FFA associations. I have always been interested in the actual names of state associations. Is it the __STATE___ FFA Association, or the __STATE___ Association of FFA? What is the legal name that is on each state’s constitution and/or bylaws? FFA associations which are incorporated and have legal standing under your secretary of state’s office have legal documents with the name of the association.
This past year, I had the opportunity of working with the Tennessee FFA on a proposed new set of bylaws for their association. In doing so, we found that the Articles of Incorporation for the Tennessee FFA list their legal name as the Future Farmers of Tennessee (FFT). So that is the name that is on their proposed bylaws that the membership will vote to adopt.
Time does not allow for a review of the current legal names of each state FFA association. However, the National FFA Archives does include the original application for charters for each state association. The application for charter asked for the names of individuals and the state organization that was applying to become an affiliate of the new Future Farmers of America organization.
Many of the states listed Future Farmers of America, or:
- ____STATE___ FFA Association
- ____STATE___ Association of FFA
Many states listed the name of the organization as the Future Farmers of ____STATE___. As we learned in part one of this footnote, this was how states were encouraged to name their organizations. This followed the example set by the Future Farmers of Virginia (FFV).
The Minutes of the Organization Meeting in Kansas City in 1928 included reports on state associations. Lawrence Augenstine from Ohio reported that, “We have at present 123 local clubs of the Townsend Literary Society with 900 members. It is expected that this state group will apply for a charter from the F.F.A.” The Townsend Literary Society was started at The Ohio State University in the early 1920s. In 1925, it changed its name to the Townsend Agricultural Education Society and began “chartering” vocational agriculture clubs across Ohio as “Junior Agricultural Education Societies.” Lawrence Augenstine would be in the first group of FFA members to receive the American Farmer degree and was elected National FFA Vice President for 1928-1929. Ohio’s application for charter lists the name of the state organization as the Ohio Association of Future Farmers of America.
In 1932, Linke writing about the brief history of the FFA stated,
The oldest successful state organization was called “The Young Farmers Association of New Jersey,” formed in 1923. Most interesting it is to find that their first publication was a handbook published in 1924, bearing the title “The Future Farmer,” so it seems that the name of Future Farmer began or had its origin in New Jersey.
Figure 1. The 1930 Yearbook of The Young Farmers Association of New Jersey – A branch of the Future Farmers of America.
In addition to New Jersey, several other states listed very unique names for their state associations.
- Future Farmers of America – Pelican Chapters Louisiana
- Massachusetts Young Farmers Association Massachusetts
- Granite State Association of FFA New Hampshire
- Young Farmers Association of New Jersey New Jersey
- Young Tar Heel Farmers of the FFA North Carolina
- Keystone Branch of the FFA Pennsylvania
- Future Palmetto Farmers South Carolina
Figure 2. Tar Heel Talks was the name of the newsletter published by the Young Tar Heel Association of Future Farmers of America. How many students are in the truck headed to the State Fair?
Table 1 below lists the names that each state listed on their application for charter in the Future Farmers of America. Maine is the only state whose application for charter is not available on the National FFA Archives website.
State Association Names on Application for Charter in the Future Farmers of America.
|Alabama||Future Farmers of Alabama|
|Alaska||Alaska Association, Future Farmers of America|
|Arizona||Arizona Association of Future Farmers of America|
|Arkansas||Arkansas Division of Future Farmers of America|
|California||Future Farmers of California|
|Colorado||Colorado Future Farmers|
|Connecticut||Connecticut FFA Association|
|Delaware||Delaware Association of Future Farmers of America|
|Florida||Future Farmers of Florida|
|Georgia||Future Farmers of Georgia|
|Hawaii||Hawaii Association of FFA|
|Idaho||Idaho State Association of Future Farmers of America|
|Illinois||Illinois Association of Future Farmers of America|
|Indiana||Future Farmers of Indiana|
|Iowa||Future Farmers of Iowa|
Iowa Association of Future Farmers
|Kansas||Future Farmers of Kansas|
Future Farmers of America
|Kentucky||Future Farmers of America|
|Louisiana||Future Farmers of Louisiana|
Future Farmers of America – Pelican Chapters
|Maryland||Future Farmers of Maryland|
|Massachusetts||Massachusetts Young Farmers Association|
|Michigan||Michigan Association of Future Farmers of America|
|Minnesota||Minnesota Association of Future Farmers of America|
|Mississippi||Mississippi Association of Future Farmers|
|Missouri||Missouri Association of Future Farmers of America|
|Montana||Future Farmers of Montana|
|Nebraska||Nebraska Association of Future Farmers of America|
|New Hampshire||Granite State Association of FFA|
|New Jersey||Young Farmers Association of New Jersey|
|New Mexico||Future Farmers of New Mexico|
New Mexico Association of Future Farmers of America
|New York||Association of Young Farmers of New York|
|Nevada||Nevada Association of FFA|
|North Carolina||Young Tar Heel Farmers of the Future Farmers of America|
|North Dakota||North Dakota Association of Future Farmers|
|Ohio||Ohio Association of Future Farmers of America|
|Oklahoma||Future Farmers of Oklahoma|
|Oregon||Oregon Association of Future Farmers of America|
|Pennsylvania||Keystone Branch of Future Farmers of America|
|Puerto Rico||Porto Rico Association of Future Farmers of America|
|Rhode Island||Rhode Island Association of Future Farmers of America|
|South Carolina||Future Palmetto Farmers|
|South Dakota||South Dakota Association of Future Farmers of America|
|Tennessee||Future Farmers of Tennessee|
|Texas||Future Farmers of Texas|
Texas Association of FFA
|Utah||Utah Farmers of America|
Utah Chapter Future Farmers of America
|Vermont||Vermont Association of Future Farmers of America|
|Virginia||Future Farmers of Virginia|
|Washington||Future Farmers of America|
|West Virginia||Future Farmers of West Virginia|
|Wisconsin||Wisconsin Association of FFA|
|Wyoming||Future Farmers of America|
If this topic interests you, I would encourage you to investigate the correct name for your state association. What is the name on the state constitution/bylaws? What is the name listed on legal documents on file with your secretary of state’s office? This may be different than the name that is commonly used to identify your state FFA association.
Figure 3. Newspaper article from the Greenville (SC) Times (Sept. 25, 1931) about the upcoming convention of the Future Palmetto Farmers.
One state that has retained its original name is New Hampshire. In 1929, the New Hampshire State Supervisor of Ag Ed gave a report to the North Atlantic [Ag Ed] Conference. The report stated that, “It was the vote of the boys to call themselves the ‘Granite State Aggies’ and as soon as we joined the national organization we would be called the ‘Granite State Aggies of the Future Farmers of America. To this day, their official name on their constitution and their association website is the Granite State Association of FFA. The only change since they received their state association charter in 1931 has been to drop the word “Aggies.”
Figure 4. Web site of the Granite State Association of FFA
The idea for “future farmers” clubs came from forward-thinking agricultural education leaders in Virginia. The establishment of the Future Farmers of Virginia (FFV) in 1926 led the groundwork for each state to adopt the name “future farmers.” The southeastern states were ready to create their own regional organization named the Future Farmers of Dixie. When 33 delegates from 18 states came together in Kanas City in 1928 for the Third National Congress of Vocational Agriculture Students, they voted to create the Future Farmers of America organization.
As the Great Seal of the United States of America reads, E pluribus unum – From Many, One. These states came together to form one unified organization for all boys studying vocational agriculture. No matter what name their individual states were using, they joined other states to become the Future Farmers of America.
Agriculture is different in every state. Agricultural professionals are made up of every race, creed, color, and orientation. While we are all different, we celebrate the one thing we have in common, our love for the agricultural, food, fiber, and natural resource system in the United States of America. Regardless of which state you call home, or what the official name of your state association is, past, present and future agricultural students are all members of one great organization, the FFA.
- Each state has a “nickname.” Find the nickname for your state at: https://www.britannica.com/topic/List-of-nicknames-of-U-S-States-2130544. If you had to rename your state association of FFA, would you use the nickname of your state? Should the Arizona FFA become the Grand Canyon Association of FFA?
- What are the pros and cons of using the name Future Farmers of ____STATE___? Would you want to be called a Future Farmer of ____STATE___ instead of a Future Farmer of America?
F.F.A. in the north Atlantic region (1929, June). Agricultural Education, 1(6), p. 9.
LInke, J. A. (1932, October). Past, present, and future of F.F.A. Agricultural Education, 5(4), p. 60-62.
Ohio FFA Association (n.d.). FFA at 50: The Ohio Story. Columbus: Author.