By Sarah Mullen, Program Manager, Nebraska FFA Foundation
Last fall, I was at our tax preparer’s office in Lincoln. We were making normal small talk – what do you do, where are you from, where did you go to school, etc.
When we finished our meeting, he said to me, “Just a minute. I need to go get my FFA jacket. I want to show it to you.” He works out of his home and it took him less than two minutes to walk in the storage closet, grab his FFA jacket and come back out to his office.
He knew exactly where it was and showed it off with great pride. I don’t remember exactly what year he graduated from high school, but as you can see, the jacket is a faded “National Blue” compared to when he first received it.
I vividly remember a long conversation after that. He spoke about his experiences in that very FFA jacket–the classes he took, the contests he participated in, and the awards he received. Although he was from Arkansas and went through, what was then referred to as vocational agriculture, many years before me, I could still relate. While ag curriculum, ag technology, regulations and careers have changed, the traditions that were started years ago are still relevant in FFA today.
Do you still have your FFA jacket? I was recently at home visiting my parents, when my mom gave me my FFA jacket to decorate my office. And just seeing that again flooded back a lot of memories.
My hope is that current and future FFA members get the same rich, valuable experience that my tax preparer and I both received. I hope that they continue to grow and develop into leaders in the ag industry and their communities. And I believe that it all starts with putting on that FFA jacket.
I encourage you to pull out your FFA jacket this week. Maybe it’s your child’s FFA jacket or husband or wife’s jacket. Pull that jacket out and remember your FFA experience. I’d love for you to share them with me in the comments below.
And I hope that you’ll consider passing that experience on to current FFA members through a gift to the Blue Jackets. Bright Futures. program. Your $80 donation provides one student with an FFA jacket and tie or scarf.
*All donations must be received by September 2, 2014 for the 2014 Nebraska FFA Blue Jackets. Bright Futures. campaign.