National FFA Constitution & Bylaws
Article I—Name and Purposes
Section A. The name of this organization shall be "The Wisconsin Association of FFA." Members are hereinafter referred to as "FFA members." The words "Future Farmers of America," or “The National FFA Organization” may be used to officially designate the association, its chapters, or members.
Section B. The objects and purposes of the association shall be in conformity with the objects and purposes as stated in the National Constitution and the Official Manual.
Section A. The FFA is the national organization for students of agriculture education, and the Wisconsin Association of FFA is an association of local chapters chartered by the State Association.
Section B. Active chapters of the FFA, for students enrolled in schools of less than college grade, shall be chartered or maintained only in schools where recognized systematic instruction in agriculture education is offered under the provisions of the National Vocational Education Acts. More than one chapter may be chartered in a school when deemed appropriate by the State Committee. Such chapters shall operate as an integral part of the instructional program for agricultural education, under the responsibility of the local school system.
Section C. If an agriculture education department is closed after July 1, an FFA chapter may be continued "for three years, providing the membership and the Supervised Agricultural Experience programs are supervised by a qualified agriculture educator." If after the national convention the agriculture education program remains closed, the charter will be revoked.
Section D. The state organization shall be divided into ten sections based on both geographic factors and number of chapters. Each section shall be comprised of three districts for a total of thirty districts. Each section shall be represented by one state officer position.
Article III—Procedure for Determining Standing of Chapter and Members
Section A. A local chapter shall be considered to be in good standing with the State Association when the following general conditions are met:
- All current state and national dues have been paid in accordance with the conditions specified in the bylaws.
- All reports have been submitted to the Executive Secretary as required.
- No provisions of the chapter constitution are in conflict with the State and National Constitutions, or with PL 740 of the Federal Statutes. Activities are in harmony with the ideals and purposes of the national organization.
- The executive committee and advisory council, shall have the power to suspend local charters in cases of violation of the state or national constitutions. A report on all suspensions shall be presented to the next succeeding State Convention.
- In case any local chapter is not in good standing with the State Association at the time of the opening of the State Convention, the delegates at the convention shall have the power, upon recommendation of the State Advisory Council, to withdraw the charter and refuse such chapter official representation at the State Convention. When such action is taken, the chapter in question and members thereof shall be denied the regular privileges of the State Association. Upon meeting the requirements for good standing, a chapter may be reinstated by action of the State Executive Committee and Advisory Council, not earlier than ten days after the closing date of the State Convention during which it was not in good standing.
Section B. Active members shall be considered in good standing when:
- The members attend local chapter meetings where the local chapter is established.
- The members show an interest in, and take part in the affairs of the chapter.
- The members pay their dues annually.
- The members conduct themselves in harmony with the Code of Ethics.
Section C. Any student in 7th or 8th grade, who has an interest in agriculture education, and is enrolled in an agriculture program, can join the FFA and be entitled to all privileges and activities offered other members of the FFA.
Section A. Membership in this organization shall be of four kinds:
1. Active 2. Alumni 3. Collegiate 4. Honorary
Section B. Active Membership
Any student who is regularly enrolled in agriculture education is entitled to become an active member of any chartered FFA chapter. To retain membership during high school, the member must be enrolled in at least one agriculture education course during the school year and/or follow a planned course of study for an agricultural occupation (including a supervised agricultural experience program), the objective of which is establishment in an agricultural occupation. Members may retain their active membership until November 30, following the fourth national convention following graduation from high school or leaving high school. Only active members may vote or hold office, except that office of Executive Secretary or Advisor in the chapter or the State Association.
FFA members in good standing at the time of their induction into the armed forces of the United States of America, shall be in good standing during the period of their induction without further payment of dues or attendance at meetings. Time spent in the armed forces, shall not be considered as elapsed time in determining the maximum period of three years after the first national convention, following graduation from high school or leaving high school. Members making use of this waiver of service time for the purpose of maintaining active membership for application for advanced degrees, must resume active participation within six months after having been honorably discharged from service, indicating such a desire by payment of dues and attendance at meetings. Members participating in the six-month Armed Service Program, shall be eligible for one full year of extended membership. No individuals, however, may retain their active membership beyond their 23rd birthday.
Section C. Alumni Membership
Membership in the FFA Alumni Association is open to anyone interested in supporting the FFA, including active FFA membership.
Section D. Collegiate Membership
Collegiate chapters may be established in two- or four-year institutions where agricultural courses are taught. Membership shall be open to students enrolled in agriculture courses, or who are pursuing career objectives in the industry of agriculture or who have an interest in supporting and developing the FFA Organization and the industry of agriculture.
Section E. Honorary Membership
Farmers, school superintendents, principals, members of boards of education, chapter advisors, teachers, staff members in agricultural education, businessperson, and others who are helping to advance agriculture education and the FFA and who have rendered outstanding service, may be elected to honorary membership by a majority vote of the members present at any regular meeting or convention.
Honorary membership shall be limited to the Honorary Chapter FFA Degree in the local chapter, Honorary Wisconsin FFA Degree in the State Association.
Article V—Active Membership Degrees and Privileges
Section A. There shall be only five degrees of active membership based upon achievement. These are (1) Discovery FFA Degree; (2) Greenhand FFA Degree; (3) Chapter FFA Degree; (4) State FFA Degree; and (5) American FFA Degree. The National Organization shall set the standards for the several degrees.
Section B. Discovery FFA Degree
To be eligible to receive the Discovery FFA Degree from the chapter, the member must meet the following requirements:
- Be enrolled in agricultural education class for at least a portion of the school year while in
- Have become a dues paying member of the FFA at local, state and national levels.
- Participate in at least one local FFA chapter activity outside of scheduled class time.
- Have knowledge of agriculturally related careers and entrepreneurial opportunities.
- Be familiar with the local FFA chapter program of activities and submit written applications for the degree. This degree need not be attained for a member to receive the Greenhand, Chapter, State or American FFA Degree.
Section C. Greenhand FFA Degrees
Minimum qualifications for election:
- Be regularly enrolled in an agriculture education course for an agricultural occupation, and have satisfactory and acceptable plans for a program of supervised farming and/or other agriculture experiences.
- Learn and explain the FFA Creed, Motto, the FFA Mission Statement and Salute.
- Describe the FFA emblem, colors, and symbols.
- Explain the proper use of the FFA jacket.
- Have satisfactory knowledge of the history of the organization.
- Know the duties and responsibilities of FFA members.
- Personally own or have access to Official FFA Manual.
- Submit written application for the degree for chapter records.
Section D. Chapter FFA Degree
Minimum qualifications for election:
- Must have received the Greenhand Degree.
- Must have satisfactorily completed at least one semester of instruction in agriculture education, have in operation an improved supervised farming and/or other agriculture experience program, and be regularly enrolled in a agriculture education class.
- Have satisfactory knowledge of the local constitution, and of the local program of activities.
- Satisfactorily participated in at least three official functions in the chapter program of activities.
- Have earned at least $150 by their own efforts from their Supervised Agriculture Experience Program in agriculture production and/or agribusiness or worked 50 hours, in the case of Directed Laboratory Experience, in agriculture and/or agribusiness.
- Effectively lead a group discussion for 15 minutes.
- Demonstrate five parliamentary procedure abilities.
- Demonstrate progress toward achievement of an Agricultural Proficiency Award on the local level.
- Have a satisfactory scholastic record in an agricultural course.
- Submit application for the degree for chapter records.
- Meet other requirements as established by the chapter and/or State Association.
- Have participated in at least 10 additional, unduplicated hours of community service activities.
Section E. State FFA Degree
Minimum qualifications for election:
- Have received the Chapter FFA Degree, and have been an active FFA member for at least two years (24 months).
- While in high school, must have completed two years of instruction in agriculture education course for an agriculture occupation; if out of high school, must have completed the equivalent of two full years of systematic secondary school instruction (360 hours), in addition to a supervised farming and/or other agricultural experience program.
- Have earned and productively invested at least $1,500 by their own efforts from their supervised farming and/or other agricultural experience program, or have worked (other than class schedule time) at least 1,000 hours in the case of directed laboratory experience program, or a combination thereof.
- Demonstrate leadership ability by:
a. Performing ten parliamentary procedure activities.
b. Giving two five-minute agriculture and/or FFA related speeches, or include only candidate's portion of discussion, debate or demonstration.
c. Serving as an officer and/or committee chairperson, or a participating member of a major committee.
- Have a satisfactory scholastic record, certified by the local superintendent or principal.
- Participate in five (5) FFA activities above the chapter level.
- Participate in the planning and completion of chapter Program of Activities.
- Meet other requirements as established by the State Association.
- Have participated in at least 25 additional, unduplicated hours of community service activities within at least two different community service activities.
Section F. American FFA Degree
- Have received the State FFA Degree, have been an active member for the past three years (36 months) and have a record of satisfactory participation in the activities on the chapter and state levels.
- Have satisfactorily completed the equivalent of at least three years (540 hours) of systematic secondary school instruction in an agricultural education program or to have completed at least the equivalent of 360 hours of systematic secondary school instruction in agricultural education and one full year of enrollment in a postsecondary agricultural program or have completed the program of agricultural education offered in the secondary school last attended.
- Have graduated from high school at least 12 months prior to the national convention at which the degree is to be granted.
- Have in operation and have maintained records to substantiate an outstanding supervised agricultural experience program through which a member has exhibited comprehensive planning, managerial and financial expertise.
- Have earned and productively invested at least $7,500 or have earned and productively invested at least $1,500 and worked 2,250 hours in excess of scheduled class time. Any combination of hours x $3.33 plus dollars must be equal to, or greater than the number 9,000. Hours used for the purpose of producing earnings reported as productively invested income shall not be duplicated as hours of credit to meet the minimum requirements for the degree.
- Have a record of outstanding leadership abilities, have participated in at least 50 additional, unduplicated hours of community service within at least three different community service activities and have achieved a high school scholastic record of “C” or better as certified by the principal or superintendent.
- All chapters shall be able to submit as many qualified candidates for the American FFA Degree as they wish. All submitted candidates must be thoroughly checked at the chapter level, to make certain they meet the minimum requirements for the American FFA Degree.
- Have participated in at least 50 additional, unduplicated hours of community service activities within at least three different community service activities.
Article VI—Procedure for Choosing Candidates for the American FFA Degree
Section A. The State Association may submit annually, the application of its most qualified candidates for the American FFA Degree, regardless of whether they are in Agriculture Production or Agribusiness.
Section B. Applications for the degree must be submitted to the State Office. They will be reviewed by a committee approved by the Advisory Council of the State Association and recommended by the State Advisor, who will submit the applications with their recommendations to the National FFA Office.
Section C. Applications must be neatly prepared on forms supplied by the National FFA Organization.
Section A. The emblem of the FFA Association shall be made up of five symbols, namely: (1) the plow, representing tillage of the soil, the basis of modern agriculture; (2) the owl, representing wisdom; (3) the rising sun, representing progress; (4) a cross-section of an ear of corn, representing common agriculture interest, since corn is native to America and is grown in every state; and (5) the American Eagle surmounting the cross-section of the ear of corn, indicating the national scope of the organization. The emblem shall also carry the three letters, "FFA," and the words "Agricultural Education."
Section B. Emblems shall be uniform in all State Associations and recognized units thereof. All members are entitled to wear the emblem.
Section C. Middle School members are entitled to wear the regulation blue discovery degree pin; “Greenhands” are entitled to wear the regulation bronze emblem degree pin; “Chapter FFA” are entitled to wear the regulation silver emblem degree pin; “State FFA Degree” are entitled to wear the regulation gold emblem charm; and “American FFA” are entitled to wear the regulation gold emblem key.
Section D. Honorary Chapter FFA Degree recipients are entitled to wear the regulation silver emblem degree pin or a similar pin in gold; Honorary State FFA Degree recipients are entitled to wear the regulation gold emblem charm; and Honorary American FFA Degree recipients are entitled to wear the regulation gold emblem key.
Section E. Collegiate chapter members and advisors are entitled to wear an owl pin of official design.
Section A. The officers of the State Association shall be a President, five Vice Presidents, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Reporter, a Sentinel, a Parliamentarian, and Executive Secretary, Executive Director and a State Advisor. This group constitutes the Executive Committee.
Section B. The student officers shall be elected annually at the State Convention in accordance with Article X. The State Advisor shall be the Head Consultant of Agriculture Education, and the State Executive Secretary shall be a Consultant in Agriculture with the State Department of Public Instruction. The Executive Director will be employed by the Wisconsin FFA Center.
Section C. Chapter officers shall consist of a President, one or more Vice-Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, Reporter, Sentinel, and Advisor and may include a Parliamentarian and/or any other offices the chapter sees fit. Local instructors of agriculture education shall be the local advisors. Student officers of the local chapter shall be elected annually at a regular meeting of the local chapter.
Section D. Only members who have been elected to the Wisconsin FFA Degree are eligible to hold state association offices. Officers in the local chapter must not rank lower than the grade of Chapter FFA, after the chapter has been established in any given school for one year.
Article IX—Duties of State Officers
Section A. The President—It will be the duty of the President to preside over the Convention of the Wisconsin Association of FFA, and over all meetings of the State Executive Committee. The President shall call one meeting of the State Association each year on such date and at such place, as fixed by the State Executive Committee or the State Advisor. The President shall appoint all committees, and may serve as ex-officio member of these committees.
Section B. Vice President—There shall be five Vice Presidents. In case the office of the President becomes vacant by resignation or otherwise, one of the five Vice Presidents shall be elected by the officers to the office of the President. This action shall be reported to the Executive Committee at the State FFA Convention.
Section C. The Secretary—The Secretary shall perform duties common to the secretary's office, such as keeping an accurate record of meetings of the State Convention and of the Executive Committee, one copy of which shall be given to the State Executive Secretary for their files, and one copy kept in the Secretary's records. The Secretary shall also carry such other secretarial duties, as directed by the State Executive Committee and by the Executive Secretary.
Section D. The Treasurer—The Treasurer shall act, in cooperation with the Executive Secretary, as custodian of the funds of the Association. The treasurer shall assist the Executive Secretary in the preparation of the budget and the financial report, and perform such other duties as directed to perform by the Executive Committee and by the Executive Secretary.
Section E. The Reporter—The Reporter shall work with the publicity committee at the State Convention procuring and assembling items of general interest in the state, and shall perform such other duties as directed by the State Executive Committee and the Executive Secretary-Treasurer.
Section F. The Sentinel—The Sentinel shall have charge of the preparation of the meeting room, and the paraphernalia and equipment at the State Convention. The Sentinel shall attend the doors during the meetings, welcome visitors, notify the president of presence of visitors, see that the meeting room is kept comfortable, take charge of candidates for the Wisconsin FFA Degree during initiation and assist with entertainment features and refreshments, and perform such other services as directed by the Executive Committee and the Executive Secretary.
Section G. The Parliamentarian—The Parliamentarian shall have an adequate understanding of Parliamentary Procedure in order to promote the efficient and equitable conduct of the meetings of the Wisconsin Association. The Parliamentarian's major duties shall be in conjunction with the State Convention and any meetings of the State FFA Officers. Rules common to parliamentary procedure, shall be the Parliamentarian's guidelines with Roberts Rules of Order, Revised, as the official publication.
Section H. The Executive Secretary—The Executive Secretary shall issue charters to chapters when directed to do so by the Advisory Council; keep the official records of membership and progress of the State Association; receive all reports from local chapters, review them and inform the Advisory Council of any proceedings which appear to be in conflict with the provisions of the State and American FFA Degrees; prepare a Newsletter from time to time to keep local chapters informed of activities of the State Association; prepare an Annual Report supplying the information called for by the National Office; and perform such other duties as directed by the State Advisory Council and the State Advisor.
Section I. The State Advisor—The State Advisor is an ex-officio member of all committees and chairperson of the State Advisory Council. The State Advisor shall advise the Advisory Council, the Executive Committee, delegates, and committees on matters of policy and to assist the state officers in conducting meetings and carrying out programs. The State Advisor will be responsible for the custody of funds and other assets of the Association; keep or cause to be kept complete books and records of accounts concerning all receipts and payments of dues by chapters and the State Association and of all other financial transactions of the Association. The State Advisor, in cooperation with the State Executive Secretary and Executive Director, reviews all applications of state and national awards. The State Advisor shall submit to the National Office with recommendations, applications for National Degrees and Awards, and shall submit or have submitted such other reports as required.
Section J. The State Executive Director—The State Executive Director will supervise, train and support the elected State FFA Officers and assist the State Officers in conducting meetings and carrying out programs. The State Executive Director will coordinate the state level meetings and conferences, and coordinate, receipt, process and report the State and National Awards. The Executive Director will provide materials and support for local chapter advisors, coordinate the Wisconsin FFA Convention, assist with public relations of the Wisconsin FFA Association, operate the Wisconsin FFA Center and in cooperation with State Advisor and State Executive Secretary, be in charge of the plans for and conduct the State Convention, competitive events, meetings of the State Executive Committee, leadership conferences and state officer trips, and perform such other duties as directed by the State Advisory Council and the State Advisor.
Article X—Procedure for Electing State Officers
Section A. The President—The President shall be elected by the out-going State Officer team, at the State Convention from among the qualified members of the State Officer team for the year then closing. Election shall be by ballot and shall require a majority vote of the officers present. In the event that no individual from the out-going State Officer team wishes to run for the position of President, see section E for further instruction.
Section B. Nomination and Election—The State Executive Director will receive applications from prospective candidates for State Office on or before the due date set by the Board of Directors, preceding the next State Convention. The qualifications of all applicants will be reviewed. All qualified applicants for state office shall appear before a nominating committee to review their qualifications. Only those who are recommended by the nominating committee, shall then appear before their sectional delegate meeting and briefly discuss their qualifications for office. State officers shall be elected from those candidates recommended by the nominating committee. Election of officers to the Board of Directors from each section shall be by ballot, and shall require a majority vote of the sectional delegates present.
Section C. Election of Officers—Officers—The newly elected State Officers shall meet at the State Convention after the sectional election, and shall elect from their body the five Vice Presidents, the Secretary, Treasurer, Reporter, Sentinel, and Parliamentarian.
Each member shall appear briefly before his fellow members. Election shall be by ballot, and shall require a majority of the members of the newly-elected team of state officers. The slate of state officers shall be presented to the delegate body for final approval.
Section D. New officers shall be inducted into office at the State Convention, and shall assume office at the close of the Convention. Except for the President, who is elected from the officers of the previous year, officers shall not be re-elected nor eligible for election to another State Office; A chapter may have an officer in consecutive years. The Executive Committee shall have the power to approve temporary state officers to fill any office which become vacant between State Conventions. Officers so appointed, will be eligible for election if they have served less than six months as an officer.
Section E. In the event that no current state FFA officer runs for the position of the State FFA President, a nominating committee selected by the FFA Executive Director and State FFA President will select the incoming president from the top sectional candidates. This person can only serve as a state FFA officer for one year.
Article XI—Meetings and Conventions
Section A. A State Convention shall be held annually, except in case of extreme emergency declared by the Advisory Council or the State Advisor. The time and place of meeting may be determined by the Advisory Council or by the State Advisor and Executive Secretary and Executive Director.
Section B. Each chapter shall be entitled to send two delegates from its active membership to the State Convention. Such delegates shall be in good standing as FFA members, and shall hold the Chapter or Wisconsin FFA Degree.
Section C. Local chapters shall hold their meetings monthly, or more often, throughout the calendar year at the time and place to be determined by the governing body of the local chapter.
The President of the State Association shall appoint such committees as may be necessary. Committees shall include Program of Activities Committee. This Committee shall set up the annual objectives and goals of the State Association, and suggest ways and means of attaining them.
Article XIII—Advisory Council
Section A. The Advisory Council of the State Association shall consist of the advisors of the state officers, the State Executive Secretary, the State Advisor and the State Executive Director.
Section B. The Advisory Council shall meet at least once each year, in addition to a meeting immediately preceding the State Convention. As a usual procedure there shall be one meeting in the summer and one in the winter, in addition to the meeting at the Convention.
Section C. The Advisory Council shall meet with the Executive Committee, and shall be allowed to discuss matters fully. They will receive a sustaining vote over the Executive Committee’s decisions. It shall have the approval of all actions of the Executive Committee.
Section D. The Advisory Council shall annually review reports and award forms, and make recommendations to the State Advisor.
Section A. Annual membership dues of the Wisconsin Association of FFA shall be fixed by a majority vote of the delegates present at the Wisconsin State FFA Convention. In the event the annual state convention is not held and/or the official delegates fail to set dues, the annual membership dues of the state organization will remain the same as the previous year.
Section B. The dues of any chapter shall be fixed by a majority vote of the membership of the chapter.
Section A. Amendments to the State Constitution and/or changes in dues, shall be submitted in writing at any annual convention by the State Executive Committee. Proposed amendments and/or a change in dues submitted by the local chapters, must be submitted to the State Office at least by March 1, preceding the annual convention, prior to the March board meeting of the State FFA Officers and Advisory Council. They shall be submitted for action by the State Executive Committee, and shall be submitted to the convention by the President with recommendations. Amendments may be adopted by a two-thirds vote of the delegates present at any state convention.
Article XVI—FFA Governing Bodies
Section A. Executive Committee
1. The executive committee shall consist of the state officers and state staff.
Section B. Advisory Council
1. The advisory council shall consist shall consist of the advisors of the state officers and state staff.
Section C. Board of Directors
1. The board of directors shall consist of the state officers, their advisors and state staff.
Section A. All provisions in the constitution of the Wisconsin Association of FFA shall be considered to be a part of the bylaws.
Section A. The fiscal year of the association shall commence on the first day of October in each year, and shall end on the thirtieth day of September of the next succeeding calendar year.
Section B. All books and records of the Association may be inspected by any member at any time.
Section A. Each chapter secretary shall submit to the State Executive Secretary the following information:
- A list of the chapter officers.
- A remittance to cover payments of state and national dues.
- A list of the members classified according to degrees of membership together with the objective report.
- A list of official delegates to the State Convention at least two weeks prior to the Convention.
- An annual chapter report on forms furnished by the State Executive Secretary giving such data on status, activities, and progress as may be deemed advisable and called for by the National Executive Secretary and the State Advisor.
Article IV—Procedure for Issuing Charters to Chapters
Section A. Chapters shall apply through the State Executive Secretary for affiliation with the Wisconsin Association of FFA, using the form provided. Such applications shall be signed by the president, secretary, treasurer, and advisor.
Section B. The following material shall accompany the application for chapter charter:
- A copy of the annual program of activities.
- A complete list of members.
- A list of chapter officers.
- A remittance to cover payment of state and national dues.
Article V—Procedure for Dealing with Late Membership Reports
Section A. In the event that membership rosters, membership dues payment and/or program of activities are received late in the office of the State Executive Secretary, without submitting a valid reason for the tardiness, the following actions shall be taken.
1. First year—the chapter in question shall be placed on probation by the State Association, upon a majority vote of the State Officers.
2. Second year—the chapter in question would not be permitted to participate in state level contests and award programs, upon a majority vote of the State Officers.