This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Examining the Merger of the NFA and FFA




Gilman, Donald

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


The merger between the NFA (New Farmers of America) and the FFA (Future Farmers of America) was an event that occurred nearly 50 years ago between two student organizations in secondary education. Prior to that time, the NFA was a viable organization for African-American males interested in agriculture and leadership. Since the merger, African American participation has declined to the point that this ethnic group is underrepresented in FFA membership. To better understand the problem, grounded theory research was employed to investigate stakeholders present at the time of the event. The study examines the perceptions of topics generated by fourteen white agricultural educators prior to and just after the merger of the NFA with the FFA during desegregation. While neither white nor black educators during this event had clear direction on how to complete the merger, both sides had similar feelings on the outcome. Both white and black educators reported that loss of black educators as role models has led to lower participation by minorities in agricultural education classes and FFA. It is recommended that agricultural education programs be designed for a more meaningful experience for all students and that the study be replicated in other states that had NFA associations.