Bath, S.D. — The FFA corduroy jacket is more than part of Official Dress. To its owner, the FFA jacket is a physical reminder of the personal accomplishments achieved through the organization - a symbol of commitment and dedication for all who wear the corduroy. The jacket unifies members in a long-standing tradition and reminds them that they are part of something larger than themselves. Let’s give every member the chance to be part of the tradition. The South Dakota FFA Foundation Blue Jackets Bright Futures FFA Jacket Program is helping carry forward that long-standing tradition of pride, dignity and honor, by providing jackets for members to earn through a short essay application.

"As an FFA member, putting on that blue corduroy jacket with your name on for the first time is something you never forget," says Sandy Osterday, South Dakota FFA Foundation president. "Whether it's putting on your jacket for the first time, seeing a mob of 60,000 blue jackets wandering the streets at National FFA Convention, or proudly hanging your jacket in the closet after an event, each FFA jacket holds a lifetime of memories and accomplishments. We want every South Dakota FFA member to have that experience, if your FFA jacket still holds fond memories for you, we invite you to sponsor a jacket." The South Dakota FFA Foundation is seeking sponsors, with a goal of 350 jackets to award on Oct. 1. Jackets can be designated for a specific chapter, or for any student in need.

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, when delegates to the national convention voted to make the jacket part of the organization's official attire, thus creating the long-standing tradition.

Individuals and businesses interested in sponsoring an FFA jacket for a South Dakota FFA member can do so online at: http://sdffafoundation.org/, or contact Gerri Ann Eide, South Dakota FFA Foundation executive director at 605-765-4865 or gerri@sdffafoundation.org. Sponsorships are $75 and include a jacket and FFA tie or scarf.

The South Dakota FFA Foundation is proud to support agricultural education and the FFA's mission to make a difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. For more information about the South Dakota FFA Foundation and South Dakota's FFA programs, visit www.sdffafoundation.org or like us on facebook.

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