If you give a student an FFA jacket …


The 2020 National FFA Week celebration wrapped up recently. On Tuesday during FFA Week, the National FFA Organization hosted a Day of Giving. In 24 hours, the organization raised $201,299. Included in that amount was $1,070 that was donated under the Give the Gift of Blue program. This program provides funding for FFA members that might not otherwise be able to own a blue jacket.

According to the National FFA Organization, more than 50 percent of FFA members do not have FFA blue jackets for official functions — it is traditionally worn as part of FFA Official Dress at the local level and for state and national conventions, competitions, and special events. As a result, many often borrow jackets from fellow or past members.

So what happens when we give a student an FFA Jacket? That question reminded me of the children’s book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. It is all about the opportunity ahead — if we only take that chance, if we only ask for what we want. We never know what our future may hold until we take the first step down that path.

The book is about the opportunities and possibilities that can happen when we just ask for a little help. Cody Johnson even used this idea from the book in one of his songs, “If You Give a Cowboy a Kiss.”

In case you don’t remember, or never read it, the book starts off, “If you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to ask you for a glass of milk. When you give him the milk, he’ll probably ask you for a straw. When he is finished, he’ll ask you for a napkin.”

So, we decided to take the book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, and give it a spin — FFA style. 

“If you give a student an FFA jacket, they are going to ask about the FFA creed and motto.
When you give them the information, they will probably ask you for leadership opportunities.

“While they become leaders in the classroom, they will need to learn official dress.
When they are in official dress, they will want to look in the mirror to make sure it looks right.
When they look in the mirror, they will be sure to tuck in their tallywacker.

“When they are finished tucking in their tallywacker, they will ask for community service opportunities.
While helping in the community, they might end up becoming servants of the community and encourage their friends to volunteer.”

“When they are done volunteering, they will want to continue their personal growth journey.
You’ll have to ask where they see themselves in the future. They’ll evaluate their interest and skills and eventually pick a Supervised Agricultural Experience. Once they have their SAE, they will ask for a record book.”

“Once they have their record book, they will continue their education in their specific interest. As they continue their education, they also strengthen the confidence in themselves and their work in agriculture.”

“While they are expanding their education, they will also get to work as a team. Through Career Development Events, students are challenged to develop critical thinking skills, effective decision-making skills, and foster teamwork.
When they participate in competitions, they will have to use all the skills they have learned throughout their time wearing the FFA jacket.”

“When you give a student an FFA jacket, you realize you have made a generation of leaders in agriculture.”


Read more about the FFA and the amazing members it has here.

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