Texas FFA: 117,000 Leaders in the Making


September 30, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn (RFD-TV) The Texas FFA is the nation’s largest state FFA association, with a membership of more than 117,000 students. Not only are these young farmers the future of American agriculture; they are our nation’s future leaders. The Texas FFA is working to sculpt its members into contributing members of society through leadership programs with strong farming and ranching roots.

The Leadership Development Pipeline is the path along which members will travel during their four years in FFA. Tyler Koch, Director of Leadership Development for the Texas FFA, says, “We want to make sure our students have a phenomenal leadership opportunity.”

They refer to it as a “pipeline” because they want students “to feel like they are entering the East Australian Current,” says Koch. Students hop on board with the Texas FFA as a freshman, and are presented with numerous developmental experiences until they graduate.

The purpose of the Leadership Development Pipeline is to ensure each student is fully prepared to graduate from high school and make a successful transition to post-secondary education. Koch notes the importance of this transition, and considers it a key factor in achieving career success.

Texas FFA State Officer Macie Clugston tells us about a technological tool her association is utilizing to enhance one-on-one experiences for members across the state. She mentions the number of Texas FFA members versus the number of state officers (117,000 vs. 10), and how that tilted statistic can make it difficult for the executive team to build relationships amongst the growing population. She and her team understand the need to engage with each chapter and want to communicate with every Blue Jacket wearer in Texas.

The Leadership On Demand Web Series is a new development the association has incorporated in to their program. It allows state officers and members to interact online, share tips for leadership development, and grow together as a chapter.

Regarding the initial success of the Web Series, Clugston is extremely pleased with the outcome. They had over 25,000 views in the first 24 hours. She says, “It has had a great impact across the state, and we can only hope for more.”

Along with the Web Series, the association also uses a mobile app, “My Texas FFA,” that allows for easy communication in the palm of each members hand.

The Texas FFA state officers and members could be considered the face of millennial agriculturists. They are driven to succeed as intellectuals. They set goals for each other, and work diligently – as a team – to achieve those goals. They understand the power of technology and are using it to their advantage in furthering the chapter’s long list of achievements, as well as developing their individual skill sets. They are advocating for the industry from which their passions derive, and they use the many opportunities provided by their advisers to help plow the path for their futures in agriculture.

For more information on the Texas FFA visit www.texasffa.org

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