The Story Behind the FFA Jacket
One day a man named Gus Litner, an advisor of the Fredericktown FFA Chapter, saw a blue corduroy jacket with a bulldog on the back of it at a hardware store. He thought the jacket would be perfect for his FFA band members to wear as they performed at National FFA Convention. He talked to the owner of the hardware store and was informed about the Universal Uniform Company in Van Wert, Ohio, where the corduroy jacket was made. Mr. Litner bought a few of the jackets and had the back of them designed to have an FFA emblem and the name of his FFA chapter in gold thread. The band members of the Fredericktown FFA Chapter wore the jackets while they performed at National FFA Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. The jacket caught the attention of all who saw it that day. The members of the National FFA Organization liked the jacket design so much that they adopted it as part of the “official dress” in 1933.
Differences in Jackets from Then and from Now
There is however a few differences in the old FFA Jackets and the new ones we wear today. The vintage ones had snaps not zippers. The emblems were embroidered, not patches. The pockets were square rather than rounded. The wording on the emblem said “Vocational Agriculture” rather than “Agricultural Education”.
I will never forget when I got my first FFA Jacket. My Ag teacher, Mrs. Pike, helped me order my jacket. When it came in she gave me a small piece of paper. (I strongly encourage everyone to do this when they get their first jacket.) The paper said to list three goals for yourself as an FFA member. On the sheet I listed: 1.Compete at National FFA Convention, 2.Become a District Officer, and 3.Apply for a Proficiency Award. Completing all three of the goals I set when I got my jacket as an eighth grader was a great moment for me. I recently got a new FFA Jacket for becoming Central District President of the Alabama FFA Association, and I was super excited to get it. The FFA Jacket means memories, learning, growth, and friendships to me. What does the FFA Jacket mean to you?