I know everyone is getting ready to submit their FFA rosters.  If your membership is a little down from last year, try some of the recruitment ideas listed below
1.  Rally off an IPod Touch - If your chapter has some extra money purchase a IPod Touch or something that is popular at the time to raffle off.  Every member gets their name in the drawing when they pay their dues, if a current members brings you a new student that has never joined FFA before and gets them to join then both the current member and the new member get their name in the drawing.  Allow them to bring as many new members as they want so they can get their name in the drawing as many times as they want but remember to tell them they only get their name in the drawing if the new person pays their dues.  This will give your current members some incentives to get new students to come experience everything FFA has to offer.  
2. Hold a freshman / 6th grade night  - Have each of your officers prepare a presentation booth on one aspect of your FFA chapter that they enjoy (ex. Showing Livestock, CDEs, SAEs, Convention, Camp, etc).  You can serve refreshments and let the new students in your school walk around, look at the booths, and talk to their peers about how to get involved in FFA.  The enthusiasm of your officers will likely be contagious.  Some chapters do this as a BBQ and invite parents as well.   
3.  Host a FFA Fun Night - Secure a location that is large enough for FFA members to gather such as a hayfield, school farm, etc.  Host a Karaoke night or other fun event.  A flat bed trailer makes a great stage and you can usually find a place that will rent the karaoke machine and music.  Offer incentives for FFA members to bring non-members such as prizes, extra credit, etc.  Also, recognize or have something for non-members that join that night.  If you and your officers make new membership a "Big Deal" then so will the students.  
4. Recruitment Night - Have Background music playing that is popular with studentsStudents names are read one at a time as in a varsity line-up. For example, “And now, introducing your starting line-up at 5’9” and senior defensive end, John Doe.”  When their names are called, students step forward attired in school uniforms such as varsity football gear or FFA official dress and share information about themselves and their involvement in FFA.  Have your Program of Activities committee then presents a slide show, depicting the exciting projects in which students can participate.  Finally, the advisor gives a course overview and why students need to enroll in the program.  Light refreshments are offered.
5. Promotional FFA T-shirt - Have your FFA Officers or form a committee to design an chapter FFA T-shirt.  Offer the t-shirts to new members when they pay their dues (cost would depend on what you had them made for and if you were wanting to also use this as a fundraiser).  When students see their friends wearing the FFA shirt, they will want to know how to get one themselves.   
6. Host a school FFA Day - Over a period of two hours, students compete in both classroom-type and competitive activities outside on the school’s athletic fields. Activities include softball, wiffle ball, volleyball, bean bag toss, milk chugging, bale toss relay, sack race, ear corn throw/relay and straw stacking to name a few. Other teachers sometimes serve as referees, officials and scorekeepers. Students who don’t want to participate have the option of attending study hall. FFA members could speak to the entire student body about why they joined the organization. The annual event helps non-enrolled students learn that FFA offers fun activities too and helps break the stereotype that the FFA is just for farm kids.


Melissa Riley
Central Region Ag Education
Horticulture Teacher
PO Box 4060
1005 State University Drive
Fort Valley, GA 31030
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office - 478-825-6067
cell - 478-973-4071
fax - 478-825-6980