Since April of 2019, the GROWMARK Foundation has provided jackets to Illinois FFA members in honor of the company’s past vice president, Mark Builta.
For many FFA members, the blue corduroy jacket is much more than a piece of clothing — it is a connection to something bigger than themselves. So far, 75 jackets have helped to bridge that connection for FFA members, and this year, 25 more will be awarded.
Builta’s wife, Sheila, and his daughters Haley and Kelsey began providing 100 FFA jackets to Illinois members (25 each year) between 2019 and 2022 in honor of their late husband and father. FFA was an enormous influence on Builta’s life and career before his unexpected death in April 2019.
Builta was raised on a family farm near Bellflower, Illinois. He was an active FFA member and lifelong supporter of agricultural education. He held GROWMARK System management roles at Christian County Farmers Supply Company in Taylorville, Illinois, and GRAINCO FS in Ottawa, Illinois, before becoming GROWMARK vice president of Energy and Logistics in 2018.
FFA members can submit an application by sharing “What does the FFA jacket mean to you?” and providing a goal they wish to accomplish as a member.
The application is available here and is open until September 16.