Martin, M.J. and Kitchel, T. (2015). Critical theory view of the National FFA Convention. Journal of Agricultural Education, 56(2), 122-137. doi: 10.5032/jae.2015.02122
Urban FFA members face unique challenges if they want to become active members in the National FFA Organization. FFA leaders have realized that the FFA organization does not represent the evolving demographics of America and have made efforts to cater to urban and diverse high school audiences with some success. This study seeks to explore this phenomenon from the perspective of urban and diverse agriculture students through the use of a critical theory lens. This paper focuses on one group of urban FFA members and how they interpreted FFA culture while attending the National FFA Convention. The critical theory framework herein focuses on how these urban FFA members comprehended the FFA's rural and production-oriented agricultural themes. The Harris FFA members had the cultural resiliency to internalize the different cultural values they experienced and personally connect with some pieces of the culture presented. These members overlooked or adapted to the rural, White, and traditional agriculture values of FFA; but, more importantly, they focused on the leadership and community development values of FFA.