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Agriculture popularity surges with American youth

In the past year, more than 17,000 new students have joined FFA, setting a new all-time high in the organization’s membership since founded in 1928.

In the past year, more than 17,000 new students have joined FFA, setting a new all-time high in the organization’s membership since founded in 1928.

During the 2010-11 school year, FFA membership grew to a record 540,379 students, up 17,070 students from 523,309 members in the 2009-10 school year. The number of FFA chapters in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands also grew with the creation of 106 new, chartered FFA chapters.

Texas tops the list of states with the largest FFA membership with 81,694 students, followed by California with 70, 555, Georgia with 31,616, Missouri with 25,096 and Oklahoma with 23,562. The 10 largest FFA chapters are all in California.

Texas also tops all states for largest FFA membership growth during the 2010-11 school year, followed by California, North Carolina, Georgia and Utah. FFA chapters can now be found in 18 of the 20 largest U.S. cities, including New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia.

“We are excited to see that agricultural education continues to grow and flourish in this country. Agriculture plays an important role in our everyday lives and it’s inspiring to experience this surge in FFA membership, which allows FFA to grow its impact on young lives,” said National FFA Organization CEO Dwight Armstrong. “With more than 300 careers in agriculture, it comes as no surprise that students from all walks of life are interested in pursuing agricultural education. FFA members are students interested in developing a diverse set of skills and experiences that will equip them for careers in such fields as aquaculture and food science to production agriculture, forestry, research and more.”

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