It’s Just a Jacket

It’s Just a Jacket

Feb 16
Debra Korte, Teaching Assistant Professor, Agricultural Education

To some, it’s just a jacket. Blue corduroy with yellow stitching. Expensive and uncomfortable.

To me, the jacket symbolized family. My introduction to FFA was rooted in my older brothers’ experiences. I rarely understood what they were doing or where they were going, but I knew it was important. I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of, even though I didn’t understand why. My family was (and is) the most important part of my life. If FFA was important to them, it was important to me.

To me, the jacket symbolized opportunity. Through successes and failures, regardless of the situation or circumstances, my FFA roots grew deeper through each experience. I am forever thankful for supportive parents and an encouraging agriculture teacher who challenged me to try things, do things, and go places I never imagined possible. They nurtured my FFA roots and helped me grow.

To me, the jacket symbolized identity. It was a shield of courage and protection. In my jacket, I felt empowered to do anything and be the person I always hoped I could become.

To me, the jacket symbolized a career. A career as a high school agriculture education teacher where I hope I instilled a love for FFA and agriculture in my students. Even though my career path didn’t always follow the most direct route and my roles in agricultural education have changed through the years, the FFA has been a part of my life and career for over 20 years.

To current and former FFA members, it’s much more than just a jacket. Even though we all come from different backgrounds and experiences, we all share in the impact FFA had on our lives. We are all believers in a youth organization that is more than just a jacket; instead, the jacket symbolizes life-changing opportunities planted in our #FFAroots.

FFA Jackets