By Victoria Talcott, Nebraska FFA Foundation Intern
When you are a child, you are always excited to grow up to be able to do activities that your family, friends, and role models took part in. FFA was one of those activities I could not wait to be apart of. All of my life I have grown up on a farm and participated in 4-H, which gave me a glimpse of what FFA would be like. Once I became a freshman I could not have been more excited to join FFA because not only did my parents participate in FFA, but also my grandpa.
The first memory I have in my FFA jacket was when I attended National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. My friends and I had no idea what to expect. We rode the bus with about forty other kids to wake up the next morning to put our FFA jackets on for the first time in complete official dress. In that moment we all knew that this jacket and organization would change our lives forever.
Many activities went by throughout the years from attending state convention, national land judging, Supervised Agricultural Experience contests, Leadership Skills Event, community service projects, and more. I learned many great skills that I use in my everyday life. FFA has helped to teach me in depth information about agriculture. It has helped to show me exactly what I wanted to do with my future because FFA gave me opportunities to try new activities to see what I enjoyed the most. I have also met numerous people that I am now great friends with.
As we gear up for the Blue Jackets. Bright Futures. Program, I decided to look at some of the applications that fellow FFA members have sent in throughout the years. Last year we received 652 applications and were able to give out 259 jackets. Each year we receive many more applications requesting the jacket. Every student’s application has different characteristics. Here are some excerpts that students wrote on their applications:
“My FFA jacket will show what I believe in and what I work for. It will represent my place in FFA. The FFA jacket is the most recognizable symbol of FFA.”
“To me, FFA means a great opportunity to explore my interests and expand my knowledge of agriculture and caring for the land.”
“When I wear the FFA jacket I am not only representing our chapter. I am helping to represent an entire country of students who are as proud as I am to be a member of FFA. Once I put on my jacket I know it will open doors for me and my chapter.”
Donating an FFA jacket to a student will change their life forever. They will benefit from this experience because they will be able to attend state convention and many other great activities and contests. I hope that you will consider donating $80 to the Blue Jackets. Bright Futures. program to provide a FFA member with a FFA jacket and tie or scarf. You can click here to donate online before the September 1st deadline.