FFA reaches out to connect with past members, current and future supporters
Although Nick Frey doesn't wear his blue-and-gold corduroy jacket these days, he's still close to FFA.
The Purdue University graduate, who helps run his family's 6,300-acre farming operation in Indiana, remains close to his high school agriculture teacher and FFA advisor. Frey and his family help the North Montgomery High School FFA Chapter conduct its Farm Safety Day each year. And recently after a Sunday morning church service, a current FFA member approached Frey to share information about today's FFA, hear what it was like when he was a member and learn more about his role in running WCI Family Farms.
Frey is one of more than 7 million people who have belonged to FFA since the organization's inception 83 years ago. Because of how FFA prepared him for leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education, he stayed connected to FFA and remains an ardent supporter.
Today, FFA is looking for more people like Nick Frey
FFA membership reached an all-time high this year as 540,379 students in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are active members. While 53,000 former members are actively connected to FFA through the organization's Alumni network, the National FFA Organization estimates that anywhere from 7 million to 9 million former members have lost touch and know virtually nothing about today's FFA experience.
"Our primary focus has always been on preparing members to be leaders in the industry who, through hard work and determination, grow personally and ultimately achieve career success," says National FFA Foundation executive director Rob Cooper. "Now, we're also looking to re-engage former members, encourage them to connect back with us and help FFA through their advocacy, volunteerism, financial support and more."
A national campaign launched this month called CONNECT! will communicate the importance of FFA to current and former members and supporters of the organization, increase awareness of FFA and share the organization's impact on students and the agricultural industry.
The campaign invites people who have been involved with FFA, or anyone who is interested in the organization, to visit the CONNECT! campaign website, get in touch and establish a new or renewed relationship with FFA. Those looking to connect with FFA can also do so by calling 888-433-2674. Participants have a chance to win incentives.
Once a new connection's information has been established through the CONNECT! campaign, it will be managed solely by the National FFA Foundation and will not be sold. CONNECT! is a partnership between National FFA Foundation, National FFA Organization and National FFA Alumni. The campaign runs through December 30, 2011.
About National FFA Foundation: The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that fund FFA activities, recognize member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of ag education. Governed by a 19-member board of trustees of educators, business leaders, individual donors and FFA alumni, the foundation is a separately-registered nonprofit organization. About 82% of all sponsorship dollars received by the foundation support FFA members and ag education opportunities.
About National FFA Organization: The National FFA Organization, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 540,379 student members as part of 7,489 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs.