Iowa FFA Defied Pandemic Trends With Rising Membership Numbers
You don’t need me to remind you about the pandemic shutdowns. Students’ lives were turned upside down as schools went virtual and clubs and sports were canceled. Even though all these obstacles, FFA was able to defy the trend.
Scott Johnson, the executive director of the Iowa FFA Association said in an article by Radio Iowa that Iowa was recently recognized as one of six states that saw the number of members go up in 2021.
Johnson says, "I've extended compliments to our past state officers over the past couple of years, and others, for doing what they can to keep FFA and ag education and those opportunities relevant to students and keeping them connected to what we think is a valuable experience for them."
FFA leaders throughout the state have been working to bring visibility to the program to help recruit more students.
"I think that's paid off," Johnson says. "This year, we're trending towards a 10% increase in growth over last year, and as I said, last year wasn't a decline in membership either, so to be on that track of the growth of membership and growth of programs across the state is tremendous."
This week is National FFA week- a time where FFA members share the message of the agriculture industry. However, Johnson says that the organization is not just for rural students.
"Des Moines has had a program for years," Johnson says. "Sioux City recently started a program. Ames has been on board with us now for a few years. Cedar Rapids Prairie is another newer program that would be from one of those larger school systems that are out there."
In Iowa, there are over 17-thousand FFA members between 252 chapters.