The new Agriculture Career Network (ACN) went live on Thursday, December 15. The national FFA staff is still working out some kinks in the ACN system. I know that you are either already on Christmas break, or about to be. As you wrap up the first semester, I wanted to bring a few things to your attention concerning the ACN.
· The state AgEd staff is working to sort through which teachers already have a MyACN login and which need to be issued an invitation. If you did not have a MyFFA account, then you will have to be invited into the ACN. We also are working to confirm state profile information. For these reasons, I ask that you please NOT begin to use the ACN until you hear further from me. I plan to have you more information in early January. You will hear from a member of the National FFA staff at Mid-Winter Conference.
·I do realize that there are some Area CDEs scheduled for the first two weeks of school in January. Many of you may have questions about adding new FFA members after the first of the year in order to meet the 10 day rule for CDE participation. Because I am asking you to wait to access your ACN site while we work through the kinks, that means that you cannot add/renew any new FFA members for now. For that reason, we are implementing a February 1, “good faith” deadline for FFA members who are competing in CDEs held in January 2012. This means that you have until February 1, to add FFA members for students who are competing in January CDEs. The April 1, deadline is still in place for 100% membership recognition. Please do not confuse the deadlines. The February 1, deadline is simply a “good faith” deadline for students competing in CDEs in January. Any student who is planning to compete that is not already on your roster, needs to be added by February 1. In order for your chapter to be eligible for 100% membership for the entire year, you should submit your online roster and dues payments by April 1.
·The National FFA staff informed me late last week that an issue of student privacy has been brought to their attention. Specifically, no student under the age of 13 can enter personal information on the online membership system until national FFA has a signed parental consent form on file. Any AgEd teacher who teaches middle grade students will need to pay attention to this request. Attached to this form is the parental consent form that must be signed and returned. Every AgEd student who is under 13 years old will need to have a parental consent form submitted before you can allow them to access ACN and be added to your chapter roster. Completed parental authorization forms should be faxed or mailed to the National FFA Center using the directions on the attached forms. I encourage you to keep a copy of all forms that you send to National FFA. Below is a statement from the National FFA concerning this issue.
Because some states have middle school programs that could include FFA members under the age of 13, provisions of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) come into play. COPPA requires that FFA obtain written authorization from each student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) allowing us to receive and store personal information such as name and home address. That authorization must be in our hands before those students can register their FFA membership online in the AgCN.
Below are the steps that must be followed by FFA advisors, students and parents in order for National FFA to receive membership information from children under 13 years of age:
· If you’re asking, “so what do I do now?” The answer is…..wait patiently! As soon as we know the system is ready, and as soon as we have accurate and complete information to provide for you, I will send that information out. Teachers who provide instruction for middle grade students can start collecting parental consent forms for any student under 13 years old when you return from the holidays. Otherwise, please be patient.
You will receive more information soon. Please let me know if you have questions. Merry Christmas!
Georgia FFA Association
316 Poultry Science - UGA
Athens, GA 30602
Phone: (706) 552-4456
Fax: (706) 552-4458