Martin, M.J. & Kitchel, T. (2014). Urban FFA Members' Sense of the Organizational Culture of the FFA. Journal of Agricultural Education, 55(5), 173-190. doi: 10.5032/jae.2014.05173


Organizational culture shapes how members of a group act. The culture has the power to exclude potential new members who do not fit into the culture of the organization. Research on urban school-based agriculture programs has indicated that urban agriculture students face barriers to their participation in the National FFA Organization (FFA). Experiences of urban FFA members at a National FFA Convention can provide researchers with an understanding of how urban agriculture students view the FFA organization. The purpose of the case study was to explore how urban FFA members experienced the FFA organizational culture while attending the 2012 National FFA Convention. We followed one urban FFA chapter during the 2012 National FFA Convention and conducted interviews before, during, and after the convention. We also conducted focus group interviews and made observations. Belmont FFA members did not generally perceive their experiences at the convention as a barrier to their involvement in FFA and were generally positive toward the FFA artifacts, beliefs, and values they identified at the convention. However, these findings need to be understood in the context of the members who attended the convention as their motivation to participate in FFA may have positively influenced their views. 

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