The original inspiration for the organization began after the Smith-Hughes National Vocational Education Act of 1917 established vocational agriculture courses. Virginia's Future Farmers clubs for boys in agriculture led to the establishment of a national organization, The Future Farmers of America, at the Hotel Baltimore in Kansas City, Missouri in 1928. The FFA was granted a federal charter in 1950 when Congress passed Public Law 740. In 1965 the organization consolidated with the New Farmers of America, the organization for black agricultural students. Girls were permitted to join as members in 1969. In 1988, the official name of the organization was changed from the Future Farmers of America to the National FFA Organization.
The FFA is structured on the local, state and national levels. The National FFA Organization is led by a board of directors and six student national officers. Delegates representing the state associations vote on recommendations and policy issues at the national convention. National FFA staff members carry through the policies and provide programs and services while the national officers represent the members and guide the organization.
The Ohio FFA Association is led by the state officer team, consisting of a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, reporter, sentinel, and a district president representing each of Ohio's ten districts. Chapter members serve as delegates to the state convention and elect the state officers and conduct official business.