History

FarmHouse was founded on the natural bonds of brotherhood in 1905 when several young men studying agriculture at the University of Missouri decided to create a club that celebrated their friendship and field of study. Since that time, FarmHouse has grown to an international fraternity of 48 chapters, from coast to coast, welcoming over 30,000 lifelong members and moving through each decade with a steadfast dedication to its values and its members. 

Given the founders’ agricultural background and rural upbringing, the house in which they lived began to be referred to by other students, demeaningly, as “the farmer’s house.” However, the men living in the house felt the name was appropriate since they knew the farm home to be a welcoming place for people to gather, to enjoy each other’s fellowship and to share a meal together after a hard day’s work. This same welcoming environment would be offered on a college campus, for studious men majoring in agriculture who possessed a strong work ethic. And so the group proudly took on the name FARMHOUSE.

Today, FarmHouse is proud of our agricultural heritage and celebrates our origins, but we are inclusive of so much more. Just as the field of agriculture has diversified, so have our membership, programs, the majors of our students and the careers our alumni pursue.

To see the founding dates for each of our chapters, visit our Current Chapters page.

1905
FarmHouse Founded

FarmHouse was founded by 7 students at University of Missouri and was officially listed as a club.

1908
Second Chapter

Founder Robert F. Howard organized the second chapter at the University of Nebraska, where he was employed.

1917
The First Conclave

The first FarmHouse Conclave took place in April at the University of Missouri.

1921
FarmHouse Went National

After World War I, FarmHouse officially became a cohesive national organization.

1926
The Name Remained

After much debate, the Fraternity voted to continue with the name FarmHouse rather than adopt traditional Greek letters.

Early 1940s
The Doane Award

The Doane Award was established by Founder D. Howard Doane and was to be given to the FarmHouse man in each chapter who best exemplifies the values of the Fraternity.

1943
World War II Impact

World War II called 1,022 members (40 percent) to service. 59 percent of those men were commissioned officers, with 39 of them receiving the Gold Star for their service in the war.

1947
First Official Publication

Pearls and Rubies became the official publication of the Fraternity, producing issues on a quarterly basis.

1962
FarmHouse Foundation is Established

The FarmHouse Foundation was established and received designation by the IRS in 1966.

1974
First Substance-Free Policy

The first official alcohol and drug policy was adopted, reflecting decades of substance-free practices in the Fraternity.

1974
First International Chapter

The first international chapter was organized in Alberta, Canada.

1985
Ceres Fraternity Founded

An agricultural women’s fraternity, designed in the image of FarmHouse, was formed at Colorado State, named Ceres Fraternity.

1994
New Majors Approved at Conclave

Delegates at the Conclave voted to allow chapters at campuses without agricultural degree programs, due to the decline in family farms across the country.

1995
Ruby Cup Established

The Ruby Cup was created as the traveling trophy presented annually to the overall outstanding chapter of the Fraternity.

1997
Printed Publication Retured

Pearls & Rubies returned to a magazine format after 20 years of a printed tabloid.

1997
Bob Off, Executive Director

Bob Off (CO 64) became the first full-time Executive Director of the FarmHouse Foundation.

1998
NIC Laurel Wreath Award

FarmHouse received the NIC Laurel Wreath Award for leading the path to alcohol-free housing.

2005
First Capital Campaign

The FarmHouse Foundation completed its first capital campaign during our centennial Campaign 2005, which raised $4.57 million to benefit members of the Fraternity.

2007
First Power of 7 Seminar

The first Power of 7 Seminar was held in Keystone, Colorado. This mentoring leadership development experience remains the most unique among all fraternities and sororities, and a critical fundraising initiative for the FarmHouse Foundation in support of the FH Excellence Fund.

2007
New Offices in Kansas City

FarmHouse’s headquarters moved to a new, larger office space in Kansas City, MO.

2009
Emerging Talent Retreat Established

The first Emerging Talent Retreat was held for a rising leader from every FarmHouse chapter.

2016
New FarmHouse Branding

The Fraternity unveiled a new FarmHouse shield logo and wordmarks during a rebranding effort.

2017
Bob Off Retired

Bob Off (CO 64) retired after serving on the FarmHouse headquarters staff for 44 years, including 24 years as Executive Director of both the Fraternity and Foundation, and 10 more years as Executive Director of the Foundation. 

2017
"Live. Learn. Lead." Campaign

The “Live. Learn. Lead.” Campaign for FarmHouse concluded, raising over $23.6 million for leadership training, chapter housing, scholarships and future needs of the Fraternity. 

2018
The FH Excellence Fund

The FarmHouse Excellence Fund, a rebranding of the Annual Fund, was launched at Conclave.

2021
FarmHouse Moves Downtown

FarmHouse and the FarmHouse Foundation moved to its current home in downtown Kansas City, Mo.

2021
First Virtual Leadership Institute

The first virtual FarmHouse Leadership Institute was held for chapter officers

2021
FarmHouse Day of Giving

FarmHouse celebrated raising $266,000 during the FH Day of Giving — the most ever in support of the FarmHouse Excellence Fund.

History


History

FarmHouse was founded on the natural bonds of brotherhood in 1905 when several young men studying agriculture at the University of Missouri decided to create a club that celebrated their friendship and field of study. Since that time, FarmHouse has grown to an international fraternity of 48 chapters, from coast to coast, welcoming over 30,000 lifelong members and moving through each decade with a steadfast dedication to its values and its members. 

Given the founders’ agricultural background and rural upbringing, the house in which they lived began to be referred to by other students, demeaningly, as “the farmer’s house.” However, the men living in the house felt the name was appropriate since they knew the farm home to be a welcoming place for people to gather, to enjoy each other’s fellowship and to share a meal together after a hard day’s work. This same welcoming environment would be offered on a college campus, for studious men majoring in agriculture who possessed a strong work ethic. And so the group proudly took on the name FARMHOUSE.

Today, FarmHouse is proud of our agricultural heritage and celebrates our origins, but we are inclusive of so much more. Just as the field of agriculture has diversified, so have our membership, programs, the majors of our students and the careers our alumni pursue.

To see the founding dates for each of our chapters, visit our Current Chapters page.

1905
FarmHouse Founded

FarmHouse was founded by 7 students at University of Missouri and was officially listed as a club.

1908
Second Chapter

Founder Robert F. Howard organized the second chapter at the University of Nebraska, where he was employed.

1917
The First Conclave

The first FarmHouse Conclave took place in April at the University of Missouri.

1921
FarmHouse Went National

After World War I, FarmHouse officially became a cohesive national organization.

1926
The Name Remained

After much debate, the Fraternity voted to continue with the name FarmHouse rather than adopt traditional Greek letters.

Early 1940s
The Doane Award

The Doane Award was established by Founder D. Howard Doane and was to be given to the FarmHouse man in each chapter who best exemplifies the values of the Fraternity.

1943
World War II Impact

World War II called 1,022 members (40 percent) to service. 59 percent of those men were commissioned officers, with 39 of them receiving the Gold Star for their service in the war.

1947
First Official Publication

Pearls and Rubies became the official publication of the Fraternity, producing issues on a quarterly basis.

1962
FarmHouse Foundation is Established

The FarmHouse Foundation was established and received designation by the IRS in 1966.

1974
First Substance-Free Policy

The first official alcohol and drug policy was adopted, reflecting decades of substance-free practices in the Fraternity.

1974
First International Chapter

The first international chapter was organized in Alberta, Canada.

1985
Ceres Fraternity Founded

An agricultural women’s fraternity, designed in the image of FarmHouse, was formed at Colorado State, named Ceres Fraternity.

1994
New Majors Approved at Conclave

Delegates at the Conclave voted to allow chapters at campuses without agricultural degree programs, due to the decline in family farms across the country.

1995
Ruby Cup Established

The Ruby Cup was created as the traveling trophy presented annually to the overall outstanding chapter of the Fraternity.

1997
Printed Publication Retured

Pearls & Rubies returned to a magazine format after 20 years of a printed tabloid.

1997
Bob Off, Executive Director

Bob Off (CO 64) became the first full-time Executive Director of the FarmHouse Foundation.

1998
NIC Laurel Wreath Award

FarmHouse received the NIC Laurel Wreath Award for leading the path to alcohol-free housing.

2005
First Capital Campaign

The FarmHouse Foundation completed its first capital campaign during our centennial Campaign 2005, which raised $4.57 million to benefit members of the Fraternity.

2007
First Power of 7 Seminar

The first Power of 7 Seminar was held in Keystone, Colorado. This mentoring leadership development experience remains the most unique among all fraternities and sororities, and a critical fundraising initiative for the FarmHouse Foundation in support of the FH Excellence Fund.

2007
New Offices in Kansas City

FarmHouse’s headquarters moved to a new, larger office space in Kansas City, MO.

2009
Emerging Talent Retreat Established

The first Emerging Talent Retreat was held for a rising leader from every FarmHouse chapter.

2016
New FarmHouse Branding

The Fraternity unveiled a new FarmHouse shield logo and wordmarks during a rebranding effort.

2017
Bob Off Retired

Bob Off (CO 64) retired after serving on the FarmHouse headquarters staff for 44 years, including 24 years as Executive Director of both the Fraternity and Foundation, and 10 more years as Executive Director of the Foundation. 

2017
"Live. Learn. Lead." Campaign

The “Live. Learn. Lead.” Campaign for FarmHouse concluded, raising over $23.6 million for leadership training, chapter housing, scholarships and future needs of the Fraternity. 

2018
The FH Excellence Fund

The FarmHouse Excellence Fund, a rebranding of the Annual Fund, was launched at Conclave.

2021
FarmHouse Moves Downtown

FarmHouse and the FarmHouse Foundation moved to its current home in downtown Kansas City, Mo.

2021
First Virtual Leadership Institute

The first virtual FarmHouse Leadership Institute was held for chapter officers

2021
FarmHouse Day of Giving

FarmHouse celebrated raising $266,000 during the FH Day of Giving — the most ever in support of the FarmHouse Excellence Fund.