Hoeven Cosponsors Legislation to Reauthorize, Update FFA Charter

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, this week cosponsored bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and update the federal charter for the Future Farmers of America (FFA). North Dakota has approximately 4,700 active FFA members in 80 chapters across the state.

“FFA is a tremendous organization that not only promotes better agriculture education, but also builds the character and leadership skills of our nation’s youth,” said Hoeven. “This legislation will empower FFA to govern itself while also removing archaic and costly mandates. This means the organization will have greater diversity in its leadership and be more effective in adapting to modern education needs.”

“The National FFA Organization has developed and evolved over the past 90 years. This act will help ensure our charter reflects the focus of FFA and agriculture education, which includes preparing students not only for careers in production agriculture, but also a diverse group of modern careers in agriculture, food and natural resources. North Dakota FFA appreciates the efforts of Senator Hoeven and this bipartisan group to advance this priority, and we look forward to the continued and defined partnerships with the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies to strengthen school-based agricultural education,” said Aaron Anderson, State Advisor for North Dakota FFA.

The bill would:

  • Modernize the charter to reflect agriculture education in the 21st Century.
  • Remove the requirement that the majority of the board’s seats be filled by the Department of Education and mandate that all officer positions, except for student vice-presidents, be elected at the annual convention. This would:
    • Allow the board to consist of individuals representing education, agriculture, food, natural resources and FFA.
    • Help ensure student vice-presidents reflect regional diversity and reduce the delay in filling vacant positions on the board.
    • Preserve flexibility for FFA to amend its constitution and bylaws as needed.
    • Allow FFA headquarters to be located anywhere in the U.S.
    • Remove outdated requirements, like having chapters publish an annual magazine, which impose unnecessary costs that disproportionally affect smaller chapters.