The key to a successful FFA chapter is active members! When you become actively involved in your chapter, you strengthen the chapter. In return, a strong local chapter provides a solid foundation for your success in FFA and beyond. The experiences of thousands of former FFA members prove that the following features will contribute greatly to the success of your FFA chapter and to your success as well.
1. FFA Knowledge
In a successful FFA chapter, the chapter advisor and all members are aware of and understand the opportunities FFA offers. With this knowledge, FFA members can fully reap the benefits that are available. Make the effort to learn more about the National FFA Organization by reading the Official FFA Student Handbook, the Official FFA Manual and FFA New Horizons magazine.
2. Challenging Program of Activities (PoA)
Chapter goals and activities that build on members’ talents and meet community needs contribute to chapter success. Make sure every member has a role in your chapter’s POA.
3. Membership Diversity
Successful FFA chapters make every effort to encourage a cross section of students to enroll in agriculture courses and join FFA. The goal is for agriculture students and FFA members to be representative of the diversity of the school population. Diversity encompasses everything from where students live and what subjects they’re interested in to their heritage and their activities in the school and community. When the agricultural education program and the FFA chapter reflect the school’s diversity, they can provide greater service to students, their parents and the community.
4. Shared Responsibilities
When all members are active, the entire chapter benefits. In a successful chapter, each member – not just the officers – provides leadership. A member-developed Program of Activities (POA) ensures that each person has specific chapter involvement.
5. Capable Officers
Students elected to officer positions must be qualified and have the dedication necessary to lead the chapter. Successful chapter officers serve as role models for other students.
6. Workable Constitution and Bylaws
A successful chapter’s constitution and bylaws provide the official guidelines under which the chapter operates. They also ensure structure and support, giving the chapter a firm foundation. All chapter decisions ultimately grow out of the chapter’s constitution and bylaws.
7. Proper Equipment and Records
Successful chapters obtain the necessary equipment and supplies to support chapter officers in fulfilling their duties – for example, keeping complete financial and membership records. For a complete list of the necessary equipment that a successful chapter should have, look in the Official FFA Manual.
8. Well-Planned, Regular Chapter Meetings
Before the start of the school year, successful chapters will establish a schedule for chapter meetings at a regular time. Chapter meetings operate with a clear agenda that allows chapter business to be handled efficiently, builds chapter unity and encourages involvement by all members.
9. Adequate Financing
Fundraising projects are essential in FFA. These monies are used to fund important activities, meetings and projects.
10. School and Community Support
A successful chapter strives to meet community needs and works with the local school system to achieve common goals. Many chapter activities depend on local support, so utilizing public relations activities that inform and build ties to the community is important.
Find these tips and more inside The Official FFA Student Handbook, an important tool that helps FFA members become more familiar with the organization and the many opportunities that prepare for future success in agriculture.