Involvement of urban agricultural education students in FFA activities and opportunities


  • Stephen M. McBride Purdue University
  • B. Allen Talbert
  • SeéTrail Mackey



curiosity, stretching, embracing, adaptability, National FFA Organization, FFA involvement, Astin's Theory of Involvement


Students in large cities across the United States can better understand agriculture through their involvement in School-Based Agricultural Education (SBAE). Since the passage of the Smith-Hughes Act in 1917, Agricultural Education has been a pathway that encourages students to continue schooling and connect with future careers. We conducted a descriptive study to explore the involvement of 2021-2022 high school Agricultural Education students in the National FFA Organization. Involvement was calculated through self-reported participation in chapter activities, officer positions, FFA degrees, and contests or events. Additionally, the study evaluated students’ curiosity toward stretching or embracing as well as their overall adaptability in different situations. The study occurred in the fall of 2021 with 543 respondents from 18 urban SBAE programs in 12 states completing the online survey. Respondents reported self-perceived moderate curiosity, very strong adaptability, and light involvement in FFA. For urban SBAE students, involvement in FFA was not affected by demographics other than those in the 12th grade were more involved. This could imply study respondents who see the value in the organization’s leadership training or college and career readiness are the most curious and adaptable toward being involved in the organization.


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How to Cite

McBride, S., Talbert, A., & Mackey, S. (2023). Involvement of urban agricultural education students in FFA activities and opportunities. Journal of Agricultural Education, 64(2), 145–161.



Journal of Agricultural Education