That’s what Tess Seibel, Eastern Region Vice President for National FFA from Virginia, told Hoosier Ag Today last week. The famous blue jacket is recognized everywhere, and it means a little something different to each member.
During last week’s National FFA Week celebrations, an Indiana high school student received the 10,000th FFA jacket given through the Give the Gift of Blue program. Allison Burns is a sophomore from North Miami High School. For her, the jacket provides a sense of belonging.
“It means a lot. Having this jacket is going to help further my career in FFA and I’m extremely thankful for that.”
Did you know that only about 40% of FFA members actually have their own jacket? That’s where the Give the Gift of Blue program comes in.
“The Give the Gift of Blue program was established in 2015. It awards deserving students with FFA jackets,” explained Seibel. “The way this works is that an individual may choose to donate to the Give the Gift of Blue program via National FFA on the website. Those dollars go toward supporting students who can apply for this jacket. It’s a competitive application process where a student can nominate themselves or can be nominated by someone else to receive that jacket.”
Burns was nominated by her adviser, Mr. Jim Wildermuth, after she told him that she needed a jacket to judge poultry competitions.
Seibel says their hope is to move that number of members with FFA jackets closer to 50%.
The annual Give FFA Day took place last week as part of National FFA Week. Over $200,000 was raised that will help fund all of the organization’s initiatives. If you’re interested in giving to support the Give the Gift of Blue program, visit ffa.org/giveblue.