Jones, W., LaVergne, D., White, C., & Larke, A. (2021). The voices of African American agriculture teachers in one southern state regarding the NFA/FFA merger. Journal of Agricultural Education, 62(2), 39-52.

Sustaining human capital in the agricultural industry is critical to the United States’ ability to maintain
preeminence in the global economy. This goal has become a greater challenge due to declining
participation in agricultural academic programs, particularly at 1890 institutions. Although the
anticipated outcome of the 1965 “merger” of the New Farmers of America (NFA) and the Future
Farmers of America (FFA) was to achieve synergy in this effort, the outcome was counterproductive
in terms of the participation by people of color. This qualitative study utilized interviews, guided by 7
questions, to examine 22 African American teachers’ perceptions of the impact of the merger.
Participants taught agriculture in public schools in one southern state and/or were members and/or
advisors in the NFA. Participants perceived that the merger was a “takeover” that led to a critical
absence of participation and leadership development among African American youths. Participants
agreed that the merger had a drastic, negative impact on the number of African American agriculture
teachers produced and the number of individuals in the pipeline for agriculture-related careers, thus,
a negative impact on building the industry’s human capital. Findings from this study should induce
innovative strategies to overcome the shortage of African Americans pursuing agriculture-related

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