BATH — 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.

This fall 319 South Dakota FFA members from 75 chapters will receive their own FFA jackets through the SD FFA Foundation Blue Jackets Bright Futures FFA Jacket Program — carrying forward that long-standing tradition of pride, dignity and honor.

Jackets were sponsored by various individuals through the SD FFA Foundation program, welcoming new members into the fabric of FFA.

FFA members filled out the an application, answering short essay questions about their FFA experience and goals, competing to earn their own FFA jacket instead of purchasing one.

“The legendary blue jacket is symbolic and the gift of a jacket to a young member is truly memorable. The Blue Jackets Bright Futures program provides an opportunity for every student to be part of the FFA family regardless of their situation or financial ability," said Hadley Stiefvater, State FAA Secretary. "I will always remember putting my jacket on the first time because it gave me the opportunity to explore a whole new world of agriculture education. As a jacket recipient through this program, I am incredibly thankful for the sponsors who believe in the power of FFA and the blue corduroy jacket. Without their support, I would not be where I am today.”

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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.