INDIANAPOLIS, In. — The National FFA Organization has reached a record high membership this year of 649, 355. Kristy PilotGroveFFAMeyer, Communications Manager for the National FFA Organization says this is about a 3% increase from last year. “We’re really, really excited. We realize that agriculture is becoming really popular with our youth, and they’re understanding that agriculture plays a part in their lives everyday,” says Meyer. “We’re hoping that all of our students are realizing that there are a lot of career opportunities in the field of agriculture.”

FFA has seen a continuous rise in membership. Meyer says, “Especially in the past 10 to 15 years our membership has steadily increased.”

Membership isn’t the only number rising. The number of FFA chapters rose from 7,757 to 7,859.  The top states for membership are Texas, California, Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio, and Missouri. Missouri has held a top five spot for quite some time, but was just edged out this year by Ohio.

Meyer says its very crucial for the membership to keep growing. “It’s very important because we continue to see the changes in the face of agriculture. These students are going to be our future leaders. We think it’s important that they become members and learn about the membership opportunities, and also continue to grow their communities, and strengthen agriculture in their communities.”

FFA now automatically grants alumni membership to graduating high school seniors. This has helped the alumni membership grow from 62,000 in 2015 to 225,891 this year. Meyer says they wanted to make it easier for FFA members to become alumni. “We want them to continue on in that tradition in agriculture. We want to keep them involved in their chapters and be able to give back.” The number of alumni chapters also rose.