The National FFA Organization is an organization that will forever leave a mark on your heart and in your memories. However, the organization is great because of the people who make it great — every FFA member who has worn that blue FFA jacket. FFA alumni leave great examples for the future of agriculture to follow.
To follow in the tradition of serving others, the GROWMARK Foundation continues its commitment to FFA by giving away 25 more jackets to Illinois members this fall. It honors the legacy of Mike Builta, a GROWMARK vice president and long-time employee who passed away unexpectedly in 2019.
Mike’s wife Sheila, along with daughters Haley and Kelsey, wished to honor his memory by providing 100 FFA jackets to Illinois FFA members — 25 each year from 2019-2022.
“FFA was a huge influence in Mike’s life and career,” added Sheila Builta. “He would be pleased to help future students have the opportunity to wear the blue jacket just as he did.”
FFA members are asked to answer the question “What does the FFA jacket mean to you?” and share the main goal they wish to accomplish as an FFA member. The application is available here and is due September 30 at midnight.
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.
The first year’s recipients can be found here.