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FFA Degree Program

The FFA degree program represents a member’s progress in leadership development, agricultural education classes and SAE. To earn each degree a student must complete the requirements outlined for that degree. Click below to learn about the five degree levels and their requirements.

Honorary American Degree PinThe American FFA Degree is the highest level of membership you can achieve as an FFA member. This final step in the FFA degree system encourages you to grow and achieve personally toward establishing yourself in an agricultural career.

Before you can submit an application for the American FFA Degree, you must have received the preceding FFA degrees: Greenhand, Chapter FFA Degree and State FFA Degree.

The American FFA Degree is a sign of great accomplishment among FFA members. Only a small percentage of FFA members ever earn the degree (the greatest percentage of members ever to receive the degree in one year was less than one half of one percent).

To advance to this degree requires commitment and significant hard work on your part. But you don’t have to be a gifted student or live on a large farm or ranch to reach this goal. The FFA degree system is organized so that all FFA members, no matter where you are from, have an equal chance at obtaining the American FFA Degree. However, you must show progress in your Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) program to have a realistic chance at attaining this goal.

If you are a freshman or sophomore in high school, now is the time to set the goal and create a road map on how you plan to achieve the American FFA Degree. If you are already a junior or senior, you can determine just what you need to do to obtain the degree before your FFA years are completed. To receive the American FFA Degree, you must have maintained your FFA membership and have graduated at least 12 months prior to the national FFA convention at which the degree is to be granted. You may retain your membership in the FFA until November 30, following the fourth national FFA convention after you graduate from high school, but not beyond age 23.

Eligibility

To be eligible to receive the American FFA Degree from the National FFA Organization, the member must meet the following minimum qualifications.

FFA members who qualify for the American FFA Degree:

    • Have received a Greenhand FFA Degree, Chapter FFA Degree and State FFA Degree.
    • Have been FFA members for at least three years.
    • Have completed at least three years (540 hours) of high school agriculture classes, or 2 years of high school agriculture classes and one year of college agriculture classes (360 hours.)
    • Have graduated from high school one year prior to the National FFA Convention at which their degree will be awarded.
    • Have maintained detailed SAE records, which demonstrate outstanding planning, managerial and financial skills.
    • Effective Jan. 1, 2015: A student after entering agricultural education must have:
      1. Earned at least $10,000 and productively invested $7,500, or
      2. Have earned and productively invested at least $2,000 and worked 2,250 unpaid hours in excess of scheduled class time; Any combination of hours, times a factor of 3.56 plus actual dollars earned and productively invested must be equal to or greater than the number 10,000. Hours used for the purpose of producing earnings reported as productively invested income shall not be duplicated as hours of credit to meet the minimum requirements for the degree.
    • Have a record of outstanding leadership skills.
    • Have completed at least 50 hours of community service within at least three different community service activities. These hours are in addition to the paid or unpaid supervised agricultural experience hours. Have maintained a “C” grade average or better.
    • Have maintained a “C” grade average or better.

American FFA Degree Application & Star Battery

  • Beginning in 2015, all American FFA Degree Applications and the optional American Star Battery Application must be completed online.  Visit the National FFA American Degree page for more information.

The State FFA Degree is the highest degree the state association can bestow upon a member.  Each year members are awarded the degree based upon their comprehensive Supervised Agricultural Experience Program. FFA members must submit two years of SAE record books, complete the State FFA Degree application and meet all minimum qualification as well as pass a test in order to be awarded the State FFA Degree.

Click here to see the State FFA Degree Requirements  from the Nebraska FFA Association Policy & Procedure Manual.

Example State Degree Assessment Interview Video

General State FFA Degree Resources

Nebraska FFA State Degree Assessment Question and Rubric

Nebraska Only Proficiency Area Descriptions – Additional allowable SAE areas for the State Degree

Sample District Interview Rubric – Optional resource for the State Degree Interview

Process for State Degree District Interview and Assessment revised 1.28.19 – Includes all notes, rubrics, and assessments

 

State FFA Degree Application

The application must be utilized with the AET record books.

AET Example Nebraska State FFA Degree Application – Preview the App!

Instructions for Denial of State FFA Degree

To be eligible to receive the Chapter FFA Degree from the chapter, the member must meet the following minimum qualifications:

Must have received the Greenhand FFA Degree.

  1. Must have satisfactorily completed the equivalent of at least 180 hours of systematic school instruction in agricultural education at or above the ninth grade level, have in operation an approved supervised agricultural experience program, and be enrolled in an agricultural education course.
  2. Have participated in the planning and conducting of at least three official functions in the chapter Program of Activities.
  3. Have earned and productively invested at least $150 by the member’s own efforts or worked at least forty-five hours in excess of scheduled class time, or a combination thereof, and have developed plans for continued growth and improvement in a supervised agricultural experience program.
  4. Have effectively led a group discussion for 15 minutes.
  5. Have demonstrated five procedures of parliamentary law.
  6. Show progress toward individual achievement in the FFA award programs.
  7. Have a satisfactory scholastic record.
  8. Submit a written application for the Chapter FFA Degree.

Other requirements may be established by the chapter and/or the state FFA association.

 

Sample Chapter Degree Application:

Chapter Degree Application

To be eligible to receive the Greenhand FFA Degree from the chapter, the member must meet the following minimum qualifications: – To be eligible to receive the Greenhand FFA Degree from the chapter, the member must meet the following minimum qualifications:

  • Be enrolled in agricultural education and have satisfactory plans for a supervised agricultural experience program.
  • Learn and explain the FFA Creed, Motto, Salute and FFA Mission Statement.
  • Describe and explain the meaning of the FFA emblem and colors.
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the FFA Code of Ethics and the proper use of the FFA jacket.
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the history of the organization, the chapter constitution and bylaws, and the chapter Program of Activities.
  • Personally own or have access to the Official FFA Manual and the FFA Student Handbook.
  • Submit written application for the Greenhand FFA Degree.

Other requirements may be established by the chapter and/or the state FFA association.

 

Sample Greenhand Degree Application:

Greenhand Degree Application

To be eligible to receive the Discovery FFA Degree from a chapter, the member must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Be enrolled in agricultural education class for at least a portion of the school year while in grades 7-8.
  2. Become a dues paying member of the FFA at local, state and national levels.
  3. Participate in at least one local FFA chapter activity outside of scheduled class time.
  4. Have knowledge of agriculturally related career, ownership and entrepreneurial opportunities.
  5. Be familiar with the local FFA chapter program of activities.
  6. Submit written applications for the degree.

Other requirements may be established by the chapter and/or the state FFA association.

 

Sample Discovery Degree Application:

Discovery Degree Application

The FFA Star Award Program

 FFA members who have outstanding SAE programs may apply to be a State Star in Production, Agribusiness, Placement or Agriscience. Twenty-four individuals are selected to be finalists each year and one Star is names in each of the four areas. Only nationally-recognized SAEs, based on the National FFA Proficiency Award list, can be applied toward the Star awards.

Note: The Nebraska FFA Star Award application must be completed in AET. Star Award Application, State Degree Application, and corresponding Record Books must be postmarked or hand delivered to the state office by March 1st. State qualifiers must submit their biographical information through the FFA State Star Bio form no later than March 1st to be considered as a finalist.


General Rules
Finalists will be selected based on area specific rubrics.

Nebraska FFA Star Award Handbook

Star in Agribusiness Preliminary Scoring Rubric

Star in Agriscience Preliminary Scoring Rubric

Star in Agricultural Placement Preliminary Scoring Rubric

Star in Agricultural Production Preliminary Scoring Rubric