On October 13, 1953, the US Post Office issued a 3¢ stamp honoring the 25th anniversary of the Future Farmers of America. It was issued at the place the organization was founded – Kansas City, Missouri.
The Smith-Hughes Vocational Education Act was passed in 1917 to give federal funds to states for high school classes in certain vocations – agriculture, family and consumer sciences, trades, and industries. Just a few years later, in the early 1920s, Virginia created a Future Farmers of Virginia Club for the boys in those agriculture classes. Over time, other states created their own Future Farmer organizations.
As more of these state groups were formed, they realized the next step would be to create a national organization. Therefore, in 1928, a group of these agriculture students met in Kansas City, MO, for the third annual National Congress of Vocational Agriculture Students. During that convention on November 20, 33 students from 18 states met at the Baltimore Hotel in Kansas City and officially formed the Future Farmers of America.
Also known as the FFA, the organization they founded provided support for agricultural education and leadership training for high school students. After granting charters in 48 states across the US, the National FFA Foundation was established in 1944.
Four years later, the FFA participated in an international exchange program with the Young Farmers Club of Great Britain. Today, the FFA sends more than 350 students to 25 countries annually to share knowledge and promote agricultural careers. In the US and its territories, there are 735,038 (685,226 of whom are alumni) members in 8,817 chapters, making it one of the largest youth organizations in the country.
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