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Alumni History

The interest in forming an alumni association in Texas began in 1936 when the Constitution and By-Laws of the Texas Association of Future Farmers of America adopted a by-law that read as follows: "Area, district, and local organizations are authorized and encouraged to promote and help FFA alumni to organize a chapter." However, there is no record of any chapter being organized.

In the 1930's, a group known as the Gold Key Club emerged as a forerunner to the alumni association. This group consisted of young men who had obtained either their Lone Star Farmer degree or their American Farmer degree. Beeville FFA started the first Gold Key Club and held an annual banquet in the members' honor. Other chapters were organized, but by the end of the 1930's, almost all Gold Key clubs had ceased to exist.

The Texas Association renewed interest in organizing a viable FFA Alumni Association in 1950. During that year, a small group of former FFA members met at Sam Houston State College (now Sam Houston State University). Former members expressed a need for an organization to help active FFA members. Thus, the Texas Future Farmer Alumni Association was formed and officers were elected as follows: president - Wilbur Dunk, Junction; vice president - Preston Sights, Uvalde; secretary - Nolan Alders, Nacogdoches; treasurer - Leroy Thornburg, White Deer; reporter - Jimmy Darling, Abilene.

This association was short-lived because a military draft was enacted and most of the officers were called into service. The organization remained dormant until the summer of 1953 when a group interested in reorganizing met at the State FFA Convention in Fort Worth and voted to reorganize. They called themselves the Young Farmers of Texas.

In 1969 at the National FFA Convention, an organization was created for former members of the FFA and the New Farmers of America (NFA). This organization became known as the FFA Alumni Association.

The alumni association enabled former members to assist high school FFA members and vocational agriculture teachers.  Membership was open to all former active FFA and NFA members, collegiate or honorary FFA and NFA members, present and former professional vocational agriculture educators, parents of FFA members, and others interested in supporting the FFA, according to the national constitution and by-laws of the Future Farmers of America.

The first National FFA Alumni Council met in January 1971. E.C. "Dick" Weekley, Texas FFA executive secretary and advisory council member, assisted in forming the Texas FFA Alumni Association. The Texas Alumni Association was chartered in 1971, and has established scholarships for FFA members, it once provided a state convention tape service to all FFA Members, and has continued to sponsor activities for members each year.

Source: The History of Agricultural Education in Texas

             Texas Tech Press

             Lubbock, Texas 1988


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