The New Farmers of America in North Carolina
The New Farmers of America (NFA) was a national organization of Negro farm boys studying vocational agriculture in the public schools throughout 18 states in the eastern and southern United States from 1927-1965. The NFA started in Virginia in May, 1927 at Virginia State University with a few chapters and members, and concluded in 1965 with more than 1,000 chapters and more than 58,000 active members. The NFA was similar in structure and purpose to the Future Farmers of America, and in 1965 the NFA merged with the FFA as a result of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The purposes of the New Farmers of America in North Carolina were to encourage and guide boys in the selection of the occupation of farming and become established in farming. Additionally, the organization was established to develop rural leadership, encourage thrift, scholarship, cooperation, and citizenship.
North Carolina New Farmer of America Facts:
The North Carolina Association of New Farmers of America (NFA) referred to as the North State Farmers was founded at NC A&T State University during the 1926-1927 academic year with twenty six chapters and 741 members.
The vocational agriculture program had its beginning in the Negro Public Schools of the state during the school year 1917-1918.
At that time there were six public schools offering vocational agriculture to Negro students throughout the state.
S.B. Simmons, Head Trainer and Supervisor for Negro Agricultural Education in North Carolina, was the founder of NFA in the state, and served as its advisor from 1935-1957. He additionally served as the National Executive Secretary from 1935-1941, and Executive Treasurer from 1935-1955.
- At the organization’s height of membership and last year in existence before the merger with FFA in 1965 the organization was comprised of 8,121 farm boys in over 100 chapters statewide.
- NC A&T State University served as the National Headquarters for the NFA during its existence from 1935-1965.
- The North Carolina NFA produced twenty-five National Officers and five National Presidents that served the NFA.
- The S.B. Simmons Memorial Camp located at Hammocks Beach in Swansboro, NC served as the summer camp for the North Carolina NFA Association during its existence, providing supervised recreation and leadership activities to the youths of the State who were studying vocational agriculture in the public schools.
- The S.B. Simmons Memorial Camp was dedicated on June 20, 1958.
- The North Carolina NFA Association assisted in the war effort during World War II by selling thousands of dollars in Bonds and Stamps, in addition to collecting thousands of cans of food for the European Theater of battle.
- The North Carolina NFA Association also provided annual fund raising support to the Colored Orphanage of Oxford, North Carolina. This was one of the largest orphanage for Black children in America.
- The North Carolina New Farmers of America Association produced many students that would go on to college to major in Agricultural Science and other academic endeavors, with numerous former members becoming educators, administrators, extension professionals, state and national agricultural governmental professionals, farmers, and agribusiness professionals.
-prepared by Dr. Antoine J. Alston, NC A&T State University
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