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** Please note: Due to weather, the deadline has been extended to Wednesday, Jan. 24.

Blue corduroy jackets, embroidered with names and adorned with the FFA logo, are the trademark uniform item for FFA students across the country. 

With the help of the Delaware Farm Bureau and a $1,000 donation from Horizon Farm Credit, more students will fit into their own jackets again this year through the Blue Jacket Bonanza program. 

“When I received my blue jacket I was so excited. I felt like I truly started my FFA journey and could not wait to wear it,” Shauna Judd, an FFA student from the Appoquinimink School District, said. “Blue Jacket Bonanza gives students who are in FFA a chance to truly get involved. There are a lot of people who want to compete in CDE or LDE competitions, but can’t because they can’t afford something. By applying for a jacket, it not only gives those students practice filling out an official application, but it gives them the beautiful opportunity to do those competitions or events.”

Edwina Chen, also from the Appoquinimink School District, agreed, adding that the opportunity to earn a jacket through the program isn’t just about the jacket itself, rather, “. . .the chance to reflect on individual passions and missions for their FFA journey now and beyond.”

More than 80 jackets were awarded by the DEFB during last year’s Blue Jacket Bonanza which were presented at Delaware’s annual FFA Conference. Chen said the experience was incredible when she received her jacket. 

“I felt that I accomplished a milestone and started a new chapter in my high school career because now that I reflect upon the memories I made in high school so far, many priceless experiences, whether that be joys or discomforts, embodied the blue jacket, my blue jacket,” she said. 

Mason Hay from Lake Forest School District also received a blue jacket in recent years.

“It was truly an amazing experience! When I got to the state convention and saw my name on a reserved seat and heard my name called, it was truly a magical moment. Receiving a blue jacket is a milestone in an FFA member’s career that won’t ever be forgotten,” he said. “To me the blue jacket means a whole lot and it is not just a jacket. There are so many opportunities to meet new people, learn leadership skills, learn valuable life skills, and all around you are able to take away so so so much from the organization when you wear the blue jacket.”

Applications for the 2024 program are due by 4pm on Jan. 24 and can be found online at www.defb.org.

See what FFA members had to say about the Blue Jacket Bonanza experience!

Edwina Chen (Appoquinimink)

What does the blue jacket mean to you?

“The blue jacket is a symbol of unity and to me it represents being embraced and respected despite the diverse cultures and experiences people arise from.”

If you received your blue jacket from the bonanza, how did that feel? 

“I felt that I accomplished a milestone and started a new chapter in my high school career because now that I reflect upon the memories I made in high school so far, many priceless experiences, whether that be joys or discomforts, embodied the blue jacket, my blue jacket!”

Why should students apply for a blue jacket through the bonanza?

“The application process not only allows a FFA member to gain a chance to win a free customized jacket, but also the chance to reflect on individual passions and missions for their FFA journey now and beyond!”

Shauna Judd (Appoquinimink)

What does the blue jacket mean to you?

“A blue jacket to me means community. When you walk into a room full of blue jackets, you know you’re with your family, and I believe there’s nothing stronger than that.”

If you received your blue jacket from the bonanza, how did that feel? 

“When I received my blue jacket, I was so excited. I felt like I truly started my FFA journey and could not wait to wear it.”

Why should students apply for a blue jacket through the bonanza?

“Blue Jacket Bonanza gives students who are in FFA a chance to truly get involved. There are a lot of people who want to compete in CDE or LDE competitions, but can’t because they can’t afford something, so by applying for a jacket it not only gives those students practice filling out an official application, but it gives them the beautiful opportunity to do those competitions or events.”

Montana Golden (Lake Forest)

What does the blue jacket mean to you?

“The blue jacket means being a part of the future of agriculture. Knowing that I am a part of something bigger than myself has been a great honor throughout my FFA career.” 

 If you received the blue jacket from the bonanza, how did that feel?

“It was truly an amazing experience! When I got to state convention and saw my name on a reserved seat and heard my name called, it was truly a magical moment. Receiving a blue jacket is a milestone in an FFA members career that won’t ever be forgotten.”

Why should students apply for the blue jacket through the bonanza?

“This is an experience an FFA member will never forget. For me it was the first time I have ever been on the convention stage. And I know that having a jacket with your own name makes members feel more involved in their own chapter.”

Mason Hay (Lake Forest)

What does the blue jacket mean to you?

“To me the blue jacket means a whole lot and it is not just a jacket. There are so many opportunities to meet new people, learn leadership skills, learn valuable life skills, and all around you are able to take away so, so, so much from the organization when you wear the blue jacket.”

If you received the blue jacket from the bonanza, how did that feel?

“It felt amazing to say the least. Me myself was able to hold my first FFA jacket that was mine and i had nothing but a application in it and I’m so, so, so thankful for the farm bureau for doing this and because of them i was able to own my very first jacket.”

Why should students apply for the blue jacket through the bonanza?

“I think students should apply for the blue jacket bonanza because it is a great opportunity to get started in the FFA and be able to own your own corduroy jacket. All i had to do was fill out an application and it was so easy and such a great opportunity for me to own my own jacket with my name on it.”

George (Unknown Chapter)

What does the blue jacket mean to you?

“To me, the blue jacket means a organization to give chances and opportunities to others that may not have been able to do that in the past it shows a sign of respect and responsibility that someone may have it means honor that one can get while having it on. That’s what a blue jacket means to me.”

Jordyn Tharp (Seaford Middle School)

What does the blue jacket mean to you?

“To me the blue Jacket means that we are one, and that all who wear it are a part of our big family. As a family we treat all with respect and that everyone’s ideas and opinions are valid, that is what the blue Jacket means to me.💙”

Kalena Diaz (Odessa)

What does the blue jacket mean to you?

“For me, the FFA blue jacket is a symbol of personal growth. In addition to the characteristics that come along with personal growth including grit, perseverance, leadership, and so much more. I have been an active member of the FFA since the 7th grade. During my time in the blue jacket, life has brought me good times and some not-so-good times but no matter how uncertain life may have felt I always knew when I zipped up my FFA blue jacket all things would feel familiar and at peace. Like many Delaware FFA members, when I am not in my FFA blue jacket I am working diligently planning for events that will take place the next time I am in my jacket. The FFA has brought me a safe place to be vulnerable, friends who feel more like family, and a way to see the good in the world all connected in our unity when we wear the FFA blue jacket. After four years of wearing the FFA blue jacket, I can confidently say that it changed my life for the better. Allowing me opportunities I could get nowhere else, and a place to be authentically me.”

If you received the blue jacket from the bonanza, how did that feel?

“Receiving my FFA blue jacket through the Delaware Farm Bureaus Blue jacket Bonanza felt empowering. I first wore a FFA blue jacket in the 7th grade to the 90th Delaware FFA State Convention. It was my first interaction with the blue jacket and I was so embarrassed to wear it, that was until I stepped into the first general session of the convention and saw everyone else in their blue jackets. I started this trip to convention with no intention of ever doing a FFA event ever again but by time I finished the trip my mindset had completely shifted. I had decided that I was going to be a FFA member for as long as possible and my first goal was to get my own Blue jacket. I went home and begged my parents to buy me one, but they simply did not have the money to. A few days later our nation went into lock down due to the coronavirus. Although challenges arose, I did not lose sight of wanting to be a FFA member or getting my own blue jacket. Once I was told about the Blue Jacket Bonanza I filled out a application and hoped for the best. I later received my own FFA blue jacket at the 92nd Delaware FFA Convention. After putting on my blue jacket I felt at home and empowered to be the best version of me. Later at that same convention I placed 1st in the Creed Speaking LDE. These were my first big achievement as FFA member and it felt empowering and only encouraged me to do more. The jacket has stood for me as a reminder to work hard and not lose sight of my goals. As I continue to wear the same blue jacket I got from the Blue Jacket Bonanza, I wear it feeling empowered to learn, do, earn, and serve more.”

Why should students apply for the blue jacket through the bonanza?

“Students should apply for a blue jacket through the Delaware Farm Bureaus Blue Jacket Bonanza because through this program members earn their jacket rather than being given a blue jacket. Members have to fill out an application, get recommendation signatures from their parents and advisors, and wait patiently to see if they received their jacket. The Blue Jacket Bonanza is a great opportunity for FFA members to feel rewarded for their efforts as they get to tell their FFA story through the application process with the goal of getting rewarded their own personalized Blue jacket.”

Post Author: Jenn Antonik

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