MTSU Center for Historic Preservation documents FF...

MTSU Center for Historic Preservation documents FFA’s Tennessee legacy

Another chapter in Tennessee’s agricultural history has been written with help from MTSU’s Center for Historic Preservation.

Representatives from the center and from Tennessee Future Farmers of America presented copies of “Tennessee FFA: Tradition and Transformation” to Gov. Bill Haslam and the General Assembly Wednesday, Feb. 22, at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville.

Dr. Carroll Van West

Dr. Carroll Van West

Dr. Carroll Van West, center director and Tennessee State Historian, co-wrote “Tradition and Transformation” with Savannah Grandey, an MTSU alumna from Woodbury, Tennessee, in partnership with the Tennessee FFA and its foundation to highlight the leadership and achievement of thousands of alumni who wear the FFA blue jacket.

“Generations of FFA leaders have shaped our economy, our government and the very landscape we share as Tennesseans,” said West.

CHP-TN FFA history cover-webThe ceremony was part of the celebration of the national Future Farmers of America Week and the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Hughes Act, the 1917 federal law that established agricultural vocational training and spurred the 1928 development of FFA.

After the presentation of West and Grandey’s work, legislators presented a state proclamation honoring the Smith-Hughes Act centennial.

“Many Tennesseans have participated in the FFA, each with a unique story of how the organization shaped them into who they became as adults,” said Mark McBride, chairman of the Tennessee FFA Historic Preservation Committee.

“Dr. West and Savannah Grandey did a fantastic job researching our records to complete this history, all with the desire to help us convey the importance of the FFA to agriculture in Tennessee.”

McBride, Steven Gass, Chelsea Rose and John Mayfield lent their support to the project.

To purchase a copy of “Tennessee FFA: Tradition and Transformation,” contact the Tennessee FFA at 615-253-5207 or the Tennessee FFA Foundation at 931-372-6050. For more information, contact the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation, call 615-898-2947 or visit

— Gina Logue (