Lucas lauds newly signed law reforming America’s future farmers organization

U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) last week commended the signing of a new law to bolster the National FFA Organization, which prepares youth members for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture. 

The bipartisan National FFA Organization’s Federal Charter Amendments Act, H.R. 439, which Rep. Lucas cosponsored on Jan. 22, became law with President Donald Trump’s signature on Feb. 21.  

“The National FFA Organization has deep roots in Oklahoma and as an Oklahoma FFA alumnus, I was proud to support this piece of legislation,” Rep. Lucas said on Friday. 

H.R. 439, introduced last month by U.S. Reps. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) and James Langevin (D-RI), revises the charter of the National FFA (Future Farmers of America) Organization to make the organization’s purpose an integral component of agricultural education, and to remove the U.S. Education Secretary as the chair of the National FFA Board of Directors, among other provisions, according to the congressional record summary.

The identical bill in the U.S. Senate, S. 112, was sponsored on Jan. 14 by U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-IN). The measure received U.S. House approval on Jan. 22 and the Senate passed it on Feb. 5.

“The updates in this bill will provide FFA with the tools to continue its important mission and better equip its student members for 21st century careers,” said Rep. Langevin. “This bill reflects broad bipartisan consensus on the importance of FFA to the larger career and technical education landscape.” 

The Democrat thanked his GOP colleagues Rep. Thompson and Sen. Young “for working with me to ensure a successful future for FFA.”

FFA, which was granted its first federal charter in 1950, is a non-profit organization that partners with the U.S. Education Department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Currently, FFA is the only organization with a federal charter required to have the majority of its board members selected by a partner government agency, according to Rep. Lucas. 

H.R. 439 will change that, however, and grants FFA increased independence to select its board members and include a more diverse set of stakeholders while maintaining its federal partnerships, the congressman said.

“Further strengthening agricultural education, leadership development, and work-based learning for students, the National FFA Organization’s Federal Charter Amendments Act will better serve the nearly 670,000 young leaders who proudly call themselves members of the FFA,” said Rep. Lucas, adding that “Oklahoma’s future is in good hands thanks to our state’s young leaders.”H.R. 439 also provides flexibility to the FFA to increase both the number of its national officers and, subsequently, the organization’s membership.