Maryland FFA Constitution
ADOPTED APRIL 29, 2005
ARTICLE I.- NAME
ARTICLE II.- PURPOSES
SECTION B. To develop an awareness of the global importance of agriculture and its contribution to
SECTION C. To strengthen the confidence of agriculture students in themselves and their work.
SECTION D. To promote the intelligent choice and establishment of an agricultural career.
SECTION E. To stimulate development and encourage achievement in individual agricultural
SECTION F. To improve the economic, environmental, recreational and human resources of the
SECTION G . To develop competencies in communications, human relations and social abilities.
SECTION H. To develop character, train for useful citizenship, and foster patriotism.
SECTION I. To build cooperative attitudes among agriculture students.
SECTION J. To encourage wise management of resources.
SECTION K. To encourage improvement in scholarship.
SECTION L. To provide organized recreational activities for agriculture students.
ARTICLE III.- ORGANIZATION
SECTION B. It shall consist of one or more local chapters in schools where classes in agricultural education are offered.
SECTION C. Local chapters may be organized in such schools by students under the direction of their agriculture teacher in agricultural education programs, by adopting a Constitution in harmony with the State FFA Constitution, electing officers, setting up a Program of Activities, making an application to the State Association for chapter charter and paying the prescribed dues.
SECTION D. After admission, in order to remain in good standing, a chapter must have paid the prescribed membership dues and must maintain a written Program of Activities, and Budget in harmony with the aims and purposes of the State Association.
SECTION E. Any chapter not in good standing will be denied participation of its members in all activities, programs and meetings arranged by the state association.
SECTION F. Deadlines for all regional, state and national awards, offices and other state activities will be strictly enforced as set forth in communications distributed to the chapters.
ARTICLE IV.- MEMBERSHIP
SECTION B. “Active Membership” – Any student who is regularly enrolled in agricultural education is
entitled to become an active member of any chartered FFA chapter. To retain membership during high school, the member must be enrolled in at least one agricultural course during the school year and/or follow a planned course of study for an agricultural occupation (including a supervised agricultural experience program), the objective of which is established in an agricultural occupation. Members may retain their active membership until November 30 following the fourth National Convention after graduating from high school. A member, who is in good standing at the time of induction in the Armed Forces of the United States of America, or placed in a work experience site abroad, shall be in good standing during the period of time of placement or induction, without further payment of dues or attendance at meetings. Time spent in the Armed forces shall not be considered as elapsed time in determining the maximum period of four conventions following graduation from high school or leaving high school. Members making use of this waiver of service time for the purpose of maintaining active membership for application for advanced degrees, must resume active participation within six months after having been honorably discharged from service, indicating such desire by payment of dues and attendance at meetings. Members participating in the six-months Armed Service Program shall be eligible for one full year of extended membership. No individual, however, may retain active membership beyond their 23rd birthday.
SECTION D. “Collegiate Membership” – Collegiate membership may include students enrolled in agricultural courses and former active members of chartered local chapters who are enrolled in a two or four year institution having a collegiate chapter.
SECTION E. “Honorary Membership” – Instructors, school officials, farmers, agricultural leaders and others who show special interest and render service in the promotion of the work of the local chapters and the state Association are eligible for election to Honorary Membership. State Honorary Degrees may be granted at the State Convention upon favorable vote of the delegates present. Honorary members shall not be entitled to vote or hold office other than that of Advisor.
ARTICLE V. - ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP DEGREES
(1) Greenhand; (2) Chapter FFA; (3) Maryland State Agriculturist; and (4) American FFA Degree.
SECTION B. “Greenhand Degree” – On meeting the following minimum qualifications, the Greenhand Degree may be conferred by the chapter:
- Be regularly enrolled in an agricultural education course and have satisfactory plans for a supervised agricultural experience program.
- Learn and explain the FFA Creed, Motto and Salute.
- Describe and explain the FFA emblem, colors and symbols.
- Demonstrate a satisfactory knowledge of the FFA Code of Ethics and the proper use of the FFA jacket.
- Demonstrate 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.
- Must have received the Greenhand FFA Degree.
- Must have satisfactorily completed the equivalent of at least 180 hours systematic school instruction in agriculture 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.
- Have participated in the planning and conducting of at least three official functions in the chapter Program of activities.
- Have earned and productively invested at least $150.00 by 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.
- Have effectively led a group discussion for 15 minutes.
- Have demonstrated five procedures of parliamentary law.
- Show progress toward individual achievement in the FFA award program.
- Have a satisfactory scholastic record.
- Must have received the Chapter FFA Degree.
- Have been an active FFA member for at least two years (24 months) at the time of receiving the State FFA Degree.
- While in high school, must be enrolled in at least the second year of instruction in an agricultural education course, at or above the ninth grade level; if out of high school, must have completed the equivalent of two full years of systematic secondary school instruction (360 hours), which includes a supervised agricultural experience program.
- Have earned and productively invested at least $1,000.00 or have worked at least 300 hours in excess of scheduled class time, or a combination thereof in a supervised agricultural experience program.
- Demonstrate leadership ability by:
- Performing ten procedures of parliamentary law.
- Giving a six-minute speech on a topic relating to agriculture of the FFA.
- Serving as an officer and/or committee chairman, or a participating member of a chapter committee.
- Have satisfactory scholastic record, certified by the local agriculture education instructor and the principal or superintendent.
- Have participated in the planning and completion of chapter Program of Activities.
- Have participated in at least five different FFA activities above chapter level.
- Meet other requirements as may be established by the State Association. Written records of all requirements of achievement verified by the local advisor shall be submitted to the State Executive Secretary, at lease one month prior to the state FFA convention, by the local chapter’s governing body to the State Association. The Maryland FFA Degree will be awarded to candidates who have been found worthy to receive the honor with no established quota. The Maryland Agriculturist Degree with no established quota. The Maryland Agriculturist Degree will be awarded to the candidates upon approval by the delegates at the annual State FFA convention.
ARTICLE VI.- STATE OFFICERS AND PROCEDURES FOR ELECTION
SECTION B. A qualifying applicant to be a State FFA Officer are members having the State Agricultural Degree, who have graduated from high school or successful candidates for the State Agriculturist Degree in the current year who will graduate from high school during the current convention year.
SECTION C. The Nominating Committee shall consist of:
- An FFA member representing each region in the state as selected by the Regional Coordinator.
- Two past state officers who served during different terms.
- An agriculture teacher representing the MATA.
- A representative from the MD FFA Alumni Association.
- The current State FFA President of their designee who is a current State Officer.
- The FFA Executive Secretary.
- Chairman of the FFA Board of Directors.
SECTION E. Additional nominations may be made from the floor from those candidates who have been interviewed by the nominating committee.
SECTION F. All State Officers shall be elected annually by a majority vote of the delegates present at the State Convention.
SECTION G. A State FFA Officer may not serve two consecutive, unless there are no other qualifying applicants. A retiring State Officer is not eligible to be an Officer Candidate during the year he/she serves on the Nominating Committee. They may give up their position on the Nominating Committee to be an officer candidate if there are no other qualifying applicants.
SECTION H. In extenuating circumstances, where there are not enough candidates to fill each available office, the Nominating Committee, in an attempt to fill a complete slate of officers, may call on an eligible past state officer to serve if he/she desires to do so.
ARTICLE VII. - STATE OFFICER RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES
- 1. The officers of the Maryland FFA Association, Inc. shall be a constitutional slate to consist of a: State President, State Vice President, State Secretary, State Reporter, State Treasurer, State Sentinel and State Parliamentarian.
The State President shall:
- Preside over the State FFA Convention and over the meetings of the State Executive Committee. The President shall call at least one State Convention each year on such a date and at such place as shall be fixed by the State Executive Secretary. The President shall appoint all committees and may serve as an Ex-Officio member of these committees.
- Serve as a voting member of the Maryland FFA Association, Inc. Board of Directors.
- Serve as the State FFA Association representative to the State FFA Alumni Association.
- Carry out such duties vested in him/her by the State FFA Board of Directors.
The State Secretary shall:
- Perform those duties common to such an office and other duties as directed by the State Executive Secretary and State FFA Board of Directors.
Have available for each meeting the following:
- Records and minutes of previous meetings.
- Maintain a list of all committees and assignments.
- A copy of the Maryland FFA Association, Inc. Constitution, and the program of activities.
The Vice President shall:
- Perform those duties common to such an office and other duties as directed by the State Executive Secretary and State FFA Board of Directors.
- Be prepared to preside over meetings in the absence of the President.
The State Treasurer shall:
- Serve as a member of the Maryland FFA Association Auditing Committee.
The State Reporter shall:
- Prepare State FFA Association Newsletter
- Prepare appropriate news releases for State Association Activities.
- Send articles for consideration to regional and national agricultural publications.
The State Parliamentarian shall:
- Be proficient with Parliamentary Procedure.
- Rule on all questions of Parliamentary Procedure.
- Serve as a participant or an ex-officer member of the Parliamentary Procedure team.
- Conduct Parliamentary Procedure workshops at the State level.
- Chair or serve as an ex-officer member of the conduct of meetings committee.
The Sentinel shall:
- Prepare the meeting room and care for the State FFA equipment.
- Attend the door and welcome all guests and friends of the FFA.
- Keep the meeting room comfortable.
- Take charge of all candidates and individuals receiving awards of recognition at State Association activities.
All State Officers shall:
- Act under the direction of the State President and State Staff to care for the welfare of the State Association.
- Be prepared to preside at all meetings in the absence of the President.
- Serve, in rotation, as a voting member of the Maryland FFA Board of Directors.
- Make regular visits to local chapters.
- Attend all regularly scheduled Executive Committee meetings, special Executive Committee meetings, and all other state activities required of them.
- Sign and agree to the Code of Ethics form before even being considered for State office.
ARTICLE VIII.- EXECUTIVE SECRETARY AND EXECUTIVE TREASURER
SECTION B. The Executive Treasurer shall be elected by the FFA Board of Directors. Duties of the Executive Treasurer will be specified by the FFA Board of Directors of the current year.
ARTICLE IX.- EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
SECTION B. The duties of the Executive Committee shall be those usually performed by such committees together with such other duties as may be authorized by the State FFA Board of Directors.
ARTICLE X. - MEETINGS AND CONVENTIONS
SECTION B. Each local chapter may designate two delegates to represent the chapter at the annual State Convention. All members of the Association are invited to attend but official action will be restricted to authorized delegates.
SECTION C. Official representation at out-of-state meetings and conventions.
- The State President and State Vice President will attend the National FFA Convention.
- In an event that the State President and/or State Vice President cannot attend the National Convention, the delegate(s) will be selected by the State FFA Executive Secretary, from the Sate Officer Team.
ARTICLE XI.- DUES
SECTION B. The dues of any local chapter shall be fixed by a majority vote of the chapter membership.
ARTICLE XII.- EMBLEM
SECTION B. All members in good standing should not wear more than three medals or pins; namely, the pin for his or her highest degree, the pin for the highest office held and the medal for his or her highest award.
SECTION C. The Maryland State Agriculturist Degree Charm can be worn on the jacket above the member’s name or on an official FFA key chain extended from the vest to the pocket on the right side.
SECTION D. The official dress shall be as specified by the national organization.
ARTICLE XIII. - AMENDMENTS
SECTION B. The Maryland FFA Board of Directors should meet periodically to review FFA regional boundaries and make recommendations for change.
ARTICLE XIV. - BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SECTION B. The Board of Directors shall develop and maintain policies to govern the Maryland FFA Association, Inc. within the State and National FFA Constitution.
SECTION C. The Board of Directors shall resolve conflicts of constitutional interpretation of state and national contest rules and regulations.
SECTION D. Structure: The Maryland FFA Board of Directors shall consist of:
2. State FFA Executive Secretary - recording secretary (non-voting)
3. Current State FFA Officers
4. One Retired MATA member
5. One Representative from the University of Maryland
6. MATA President
7. MATA president-elect
8. MATA Secretary
9. MATA Treasurer
10. MATA Past President
11. One FFA Advisor from each of the Maryland FFA Regions
12. One Alumni/Life affiliate member
13. Two representatives from the Agricultural Industry
SECTION E. Term in office and selection of representative members:
- The term of service for the chairperson, alumni representative, and industry representatives, and retired MATA member shall be two years.
- Each individual is limited to two consecutive terms for each of these positions.
- The aforementioned representatives shall be selected by a majority of the Maryland FFA Board of Directors.
- The University of Maryland representative shall be selected by the University and shall not be limited in their length of service
- No individual shall serve in concurrent positions within the Maryland FFA Board of Directors.
- An officer missing two (2) Officer meetings without good reason.
- Violation of any provision of the National FFA members or State Officer Code of Ethics.
- Not performing adequately the duties of the office.
- Missing other statewide activities which State Officers are expected to attend.
- For any other reason agreed upon by all other members of the Board of Directors.