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WASHINGTON -- With global needs to fight hunger and prepare for the expected population growth, the industry of agriculture needs educated, skilled and passionate people dedicated to sustainability. The National FFA Organization is answering this need, as the record growth of the organization demonstrates.

Today, FFA membership stands at 629,367 students, up from 610,240 in 2014, an increase of 3 percent. The number of chapters grew from 7,665 in 2014 to 7,757 in 2015. The top five membership states are Texas, California, Georgia, Oklahoma and Missouri. Interest in FFA and agricultural education continues to grow, as membership has increased more than 20 percent since 2009-10.

"FFA, through agricultural education, is preparing our youth to ensure the security of our country's food, fiber and natural resources for years to come," said National FFA Organization CEO Dwight Armstrong, Ph.D. "Through real-world experiences, the nation's agricultural educators are helping students develop the technical knowledge, skills and problem-solving capabilities to be the industry's leaders of tomorrow. FFA continues to grow leaders, build communities and strengthen agriculture."

Student membership was not the only thing that grew in 2015. National FFA Alumni membership also continued to grow, with 62,705 members this year, growing from 57,832 in 2014. FFA alumni play an important role in keeping agricultural education and FFA programs in local schools by providing both volunteers and financial support to local teachers.

FFA programs are funded through sponsorships and individual donations at the local, state and national level. National dues for each member are $7 per year. To learn more about how you can support FFA, go to www.ffa.org.

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