Since 1917, the Society has been strictly honorary in character. Elections to membership are conducted by the faculty members of a chapter. Juniors, seniors, graduate students, alumni and faculty in agriculture, home economics, veterinary medicine, forestry and areas of study related to these fields are eligible for membership.
At the option of the local chapter, juniors in the upper 5 percent of their class may be initiated. Senior students must be within the upper 15 percent of their class and must show promise of future leadership in some phase of agriculture or a related area. Graduate students of outstanding ability in the aforementioned areas, alumni and faculty who have, by virtue of outstanding achievement, demonstrated worthiness of the honor, are eligible for membership. To be eligible faculty members must have demonstrated exceptional teaching, investigational ability or service for a period of at least three years.
Alumni are eligible for election no sooner than five years after graduation by virtue of significant service in one or more of the aforementioned areas. A single honorary membership per chapter per year is reserved for a person who has furthered agriculture and does not quality for membership in any other category.
Membership is for life. An individual may affiliate with the nearest/most convenient chapter after graduating or changing positions.