Joining FFA was one of the best things that happened to Braden Badertscher. “He always had a love for agriculture,” according to his parents Tony and Jane Badertscher. “His first toys were John Deere tractors and his favorite place to be was at the farm.”
Tony and Jane say that FFA taught him confidence, public speaking and leadership skills. He even restored an old John Deere tractor for his Supervised Agriculture Education project. “How ironic that the little toys he enjoyed playing with would eventually earn him a bronze award in Ag Mechanics Repair and Maintenance – Placement at National FFA Convention.”
Not only did FFA help Braden grow in all of these ways, but it brought normalcy to his life when he was diagnosed with cancer. Jane says FFA helped give him something positive to focus on instead of all the bad that was happening. “The Holdrege FFA Chapter and advisor became part of Braden’s ‘family’ and was a huge support system throughout this illness.
After Braden passed away, Tony and Jane realized just how much of an impact FFA had on him. They also learned how much of an impact Braden had on other FFA members and decided to give back to Nebraska FFA. Jane says, “We can only hope that this small gift will help others to discover their potential, and that Braden’s memory will live on through their involvement in FFA.”
The Braden Badertscher “Power Your Potential” Memorial Endowment supports a proficiency award recognizing excellence in a student’s Supervised Agricultural Experience in the Power, Structure and Technical Systems Pathway and a $1,000 cash award for that student. This endowment is the first of its kind in endowing a proficiency award through the Nebraska FFA Foundation.