COLUMBUS, Ohio — This fall, the Ohio FFA Foundation awarded the funds for chapters to purchase 225 FFA jackets for first-year members. Students from across Ohio either applied or were nominated to be a part of the Blue Jackets program, sponsored by Beck’s Hybrids.
Beck’s Hybrids and the Ohio FFA Foundation have been committed to helping provide FFA jackets for first-year members since 2017. In total, the Ohio FFA Foundation has awarded 857 jackets.
“In 2021, the Ohio FFA Foundation was able to award the most FFA jackets it ever has in a single year. I am grateful for the number of people who combined their efforts to provide FFA jackets for first-year members in our state,” said Jessica Parrish, executive director of the Ohio FFA Foundation.
Jacket donors in 2021 included Beck’s Hybrids and 30 Beck’s Hybrids dealers, as well as multiple individuals and community supporters. Rolland Wolfrum of Cardinal Creek Farms LLC, a Beck’s Hybrids dealer in Hicksville, Ohio, has donated to the program each year since its inception.
“I hope each FFA jacket gives a student a boost of confidence and pride. Some may not realize that not all kids are able to afford a blue jacket. This can cause undue stress on both kids and families,” said Wolfrum. “Supporting this program is one small way to make a positive influence on a student.”
The blue, corduroy jacket is part of the National FFA Organization’s official dress; wearing one allows students to participate in several competitions, conferences and events.
“The blue jacket is a valuable component of the FFA member experience. With the generosity of various supporters and the Beck’s Hybrids dealer network, we were able to share the gift of blue with students from 80 different chapters in 47 counties,” said Parrish. “Although we were able to serve so many members this year, there is a growing need for sponsored FFA jackets. We aim to provide more and more jackets each year.”
Altogether, the Ohio FFA Foundation received more than 600 applications and nominations for FFA jackets. Those interested in contributing to this program in the future should contact the Ohio FFA Foundation at email@example.com. More information about the Blue Jackets program can be found at ohioffa.org/foundation.
About the Ohio FFA Foundation
The Ohio FFA Foundation is a cooperative effort among education, business and industry to support and inspire Ohio’s 25,000 FFA members. FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
— Ohio FFA Foundation