Journal of Research in Technical Careers


FFA, alumni, agricultural education


Vocational Education


The purpose of this study was to explore the factors impacting former National FFA Organization (FFA) members’ decision to discontinue FFA membership after high school. Data were collected using focus groups. Data indicated areas of improvement for how to retain membership on the alumni level within colleges and other local FFA Alumni chapters. Participants noted a lack of advertising from the FFA during their high school experience, and this may partially explain why FFA loses a majority of its membership after high school. Additionally, advisors played an influential role in deciding not to continue with FFA, and participants expressed a need for career building opportunities for members as participants felt Collegiate FFA and the FFA Alumni lacked these opportunities. Other reasons participants’ discontinued FFA involvement included lack of time, FFA burnout, and priority of FFA in their life. We recommend colleges and FFA consider implementing professional development to help advisors encourage participation in FFA beyond high school, increase advertising efforts about FFA opportunities, and publish tips, training, and information on how to start, manage, and maintain a successful alumni chapter. We also recommend local alumni chapters on college campuses consider increasing advertising and hosting career development opportunities. Moreover, as Collegiate FFA is no longer recognized as an official member type by the national organization, FFA should consider how to engage students who are involved at the collegiate level and are transitioning to FFA Alumni. Beyond the FFA, adult organizations should consider researching reasons for participation, since adults also seek learning opportunities, a sense of belonging, and achievement outside of the workplace.