50 Years Of Women In The FFAPosted: Updated:
This year marks the 50th anniversary of women gained full membership in the FFA. The road was full of bumps along the way, but on October 17th, 1969, the word “male” was struck from the FFA constitution, allowing women to take their place in the organization.
The fight for female membership first officially began in 1935 when Mass. delegate, Alfred Vaughan, brought up the subject of women having full membership at a national level. The convention voted against it, and it would take more than 12,000 days before a resolution was passed.
Over the next 30 years, some local chapters allowed women to join in varying degrees; enrolling them in agricultural education classes or allowing them to use initials that would not reveal their gender. Some would bring them to regional and state meetings under the guise they were an instructor’s daughter or niece. Alternatively, there was a loophole that allowed women to qualify for their own cream-colored jackets by being chapter “Sweethearts”, or social ambassadors.
Since getting full membership, women have excelled in leadership roles within the FFA. From Anita Decker Wright becoming the first female state officer in 1970 to Karlene Lindow Krueger becoming the first female American Star Farmer award recipient, women have shown they possess the same drive and determination that sets FFA members apart.
Today, nearly half of all FFA members are women and they hold about 50% of state leadership positions.
Be sure to catch RFD-TV's coverage of the 92nd National FFA Convention!