DENVER, Ind. — Although its only her first year in FFA, Allison Burns, a sophomore at North Miami Middle/High School and a member of the school’s FFA chapter, has already become a part of FFA history.
Burns recently received her official blue corduroy FFA jacket through the Give the Gift of Blue program, and it happened to be the 10,000th jacket the program donated since it began in 2014.
The Give the Gift of Blue was started to provide funding for FFA members who otherwise might not have been able to own a blue FFA jacket of their own.
Burns was nominated to receive her FFA jacket by her FFA chapter adviser Jim Wildermuth.
Wildermuth said that after some members of the community bought FFA jackets for all the freshman FFA members of the chapter in honor of a family member, since Burns was a sophomore, he decided to fill out an application through the Give the Gift of Blue program on her behalf.
However, when he filled the application out one random Saturday while he was working in the agriculture classrooms at the school, he had no idea that Burns and the North Miami FFA Chapter would be part of the 10,000th jacket donated through the Give the Gift of Blue program and part of a special presentation during the 2020 National FFA Week.
Wildermuth said that within a few weeks of him submitting the application, the National FFA informed him that the 10,000 th jacket would be presented in front of the entire school.
Tess Seibel, the 2019-2020 National FFA eastern region vice president, was on hand to present the jacket to Burns and help her put it on for the first time.
“It was a really cool experience. I got to meet Tess, who was super sweet and kind,” Burns said.
Burns said that the timing of receiving her jacket was perfect because she will be able to wear it in her horticulture demonstration, which she will present at her district’s upcoming leadership contests.
“It was a great experience. I’ll be allowed to pursue more in FFA with this jacket than without,” Burns said.