This fall 332 South Dakota FFA members from 63 chapters, will receive their own FFA jackets. They come through the S.D. FFA Foundation Blue Jackets Bright Futures FFA Jacket Program.

Jackets were sponsored by various individuals through the program, welcoming new members into FFA. Competing to earn their own FFA jacket instead of purchasing one, FFA members filled out the application, answering four short essay questions about their FFA experience and goals.

Local area 2019 recipients include Pierre area’s Alexandra Smith and Hannah Schochenmaier; and Gettysburg area’s Alex Tanner. Megan Hermann, Owen Rausch, Abbie Larson, Ashton Larson, Charles Wolfe Shadd, Chase DeRouchey, Kennedi Johnson and Mia Canchola.

The SD FFA Foundation supports agricultural education. Its mission is to make a difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

“The blue jacket is a symbolic piece of our organization,” said Sadie Vander Wal, state reporter, Brentford. This program enables our organization to truly be open to all students, regardless of financial situation. Putting my jacket on for the first time is something I will always treasure and remember because it symbolizes the moment I opened a door bursting with new opportunities. Little did I realize how many experiences and memories will forever be engrained into that corduroy. As a jacket recipient through this program, I am incredibly thankful for the sponsors who also believe in the power of the jacket and the opportunities that it brings members like me.”

When students join the FFA, they typically purchase or borrow jackets to compete in the many Career Development Events offered through FFA. The jacket is their team uniform to be worn at all official FFA events. The blue corduroy FFA jacket has been the status symbol of the national FFA organization since 1933.

Individuals and businesses interested in sponsoring an FFA jacket for a SD FFA member should contact Gerri Ann Eide, executive director SD FFA Foundation, at 605-765-4865 or gerri@sdffafoundation.org. Sponsorships are $75 per jacket.

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