Electing the best FFA officers

Electing FFA officers is one of the single most important aspects of being a FFA advisor and agriculture teacher. FFA officer elections determine whether you have to do minimal work or whether you need to micromanage every aspect of your POA, or let it FLOP.

FFA officer elections also are difficult as an advisor because we typically know which FFA officer will make the best president, but cannot allow the system to be biased or it is hard for officers to trust the process, resulting in many deciding to not run due to the politics. 

On the flip-side, a FFA officer election determined solely by the membership can result in a popularity vote more times than not, which can go south fast for the FFA chapter, leaving you as the FFA advisor to pick up the pieces the following year. 

So if there are negatives to the FFA advisor being too involved AND if the FFA advisor is not involved enough, what is the best method for determining a FFA officer team without it being too overwhelming that no one wants to run?

Now I’m not saying I had the best system or there were no flaws but during my nine years as a FFA advisor, I felt like this method for electing FFA officers resulted in the best officers being placed in their most appropriate positions while still allowing the general FFA membership to have a say in who is elected. Let me explain:


I provided FFA officer candidates the FFA Officer Election Overview document and FFA Officer Application which outlined the election process four weeks prior to the FFA officer interviews/election. The FFA officer interviews/election would occur one month prior to our annual banquet when FFA officers were inducted. There were five components to the screening process: (1) General Committee Interview worth 50%, (2) Chapter FFA Points worth 20%, (3) Recommendation Forms worth 20%, (4) Test on General FFA and Parliamentary Procedure Knowledge worth 10%, and (5) Application worth 0%. 

Typically my officer team consisted of a president, three vice presidents (growing leaders, building communities, strengthening agriculture), secretary, treasurer, two reporters (social media, print media), student advisor and sentinel. I felt like this was the best way for me to break up the work, have enough officers to manage our large POA (30+ activities per year) and provide everyone a distinctive role within the chapter. Sometimes I added a parliamentarian or historian, or removed a reporter or vice president, depending on where a logical break was in the officer candidates. 


The general committee interview was made up of four to six individuals and usually consisted of the FFA advisor, two senior officers, one administrator, one teacher and one community member. I never allowed relatives of a candidate to participate and tried to rotate who I asked each year. I scanned the completed FFA Officer Applications to committee members the week before so they could take notes and reference within the interview. 

Committee members each asked one Interview Question and evaluated the candidates using the General Interview Scoresheets. The scoresheets from each committee member were averaged and this rating was added into the FFA Officer Scoresheet under the “Scoresheet” tab.

During the interview, a senior officer also recorded each candidate answering the following questions: (1) tell me about yourself and (2) why do you want to be an FFA officer. These videos were displayed during the time FFA members would be physically voting on the slated officer elections.


As explained in the Draft a Culture of Inclusion blog post, my chapter implemented a points system for FFA participation. Students would receive points by attending events throughout the year. After receiving all of the FFA Officer Applications from candidates, I would determine which candidate had the most FFA points and then would place this number in cell B3 on the “FFA Points” tab within the FFA Officer Scoresheet. For this specific year, the highest candidate had 295 FFA points. I then inserted the officer candidates and their FFA points. This provided their FFA points rating out of 50. I would transfer this rating to the “Scoresheet” tab. 

This portion of the election process benefited those FFA officer candidates who SHOWED UP to events, which is one of the most important parts of being an officer!


Since FFA officers are required to interact with teachers, coaches and other school personnel, recommendations are extremely important. I wanted a way for these individuals to quickly and conveniently provide feedback on FFA officer candidates. Candidates were required to provide two individuals within the school system a FFA Recommendation Form. Recommenders would rate these candidates and place the forms back in my mailbox. Their total score (out of 50 points) would be added to the “Scoresheet” tab on the FFA Officer Scoresheet.


On the day of the general interview, FFA officer candidates would take a FFA Officer Test which covered general FFA and parliamentary procedure knowledge contained in the study guide on the FFA Officer Election Overview document. Although this portion only represented 10% of their total score, it rewarded students who are going to put in the extra work to review the content in the study guide. I also found value in officers understanding the organization they are leading and parliamentary procedure knowledge aids officers in general membership meetings. A senior FFA officer would grade the tests using a FFA Officer Test Key. This score was divided by 2 and added into the “Test” column of the “Scoresheet” tab on the FFA Officer Scoresheet. This test could also be created in a Google form so it would grade itself.


The FFA officer candidates’ total score on the FFA Officer Scoresheet out of 250 possible points determined the candidates’ ratings. I would then review the candidates’ FFA Officer Applications from highest score to lowest. The candidate with the highest score would be slated on the FFA Officer Ballot in the area containing their first choice from the FFA Officer Applications. For example, if they ranked secretary as their first choice on the application, they were slated on the ballot under the secretary, treasurer, reporter section of the ballot, not president/vice presidents.

After all candidates were slated on the ballot based on their ratings from the FFA Officer Scoresheet, I would print the ballots and distribute them to the general membership. I would play the video interviews they recorded on the day of the general interview and FFA members would rank the officers in each category on the ballot based on how qualified they are to be an officer. For example, within the President/Vice Presidents category, the individual most qualified would get a 1 and the least qualified would get a 4. These ballots were counted and the individual with the lowest average would receive their first choice of officer position (from the application) within their slated officer category. By the end of my career, I designed a Google form ballot so I could electronically count the ballots instead of by hand. 

Although there are many ways to conduct your FFA officer elections, I felt like this was the best way for my FFA chapter (120+ members) to have a part in electing officers but still make sure it was not a popularity contest. This method allowed our chapter to find success within our Program of Activities (POA) at the local, state and national level with our chapter being recognized as a Top 10 Models of Innovation and Models of Excellence Chapter in the nation three times, National 3-star Chapter seven times, a Top 10 Models of Innovation Chapter in Ohio eight times, and the top chapter in Ohio three times. 

If you have any questions about how I implemented this process for FFA officer elections, do not hesitate to reach out at info@owlsnestresoures.com