Smithsonian Welcomes FFA Jackets

Photo of five FFA jackets

Five FFA jackets were dedicated at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

During a special presentation on July 25, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History welcomed the jackets of five former FFA members to its collection. The familiar blue and gold jackets will be featured at the American Enterprise exhibit, opening July 2015. The exhibit will tell the nation’s business story, centered on the themes of opportunity, innovation, competition and the search for common good in the American marketplace.

For the past few months, the Smithsonian has been seeking out FFA jackets to be donated to the museum, as well as stories of the impact of agricultural education on students. Peter Liebhold, curator at the National Museum of American History, said, “We invited people to send a description of their FFA jacket and tell us about their life experiences and were enthused by how many offers poured in.”

Donated FFA jackets include:

  • Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter
  • First African American National President, Corey Flournoy
  • First female American Star Farmer Karlene Krueger
  • Former extension agent from Florida, Jesse Godbold
  • Chapter Sweetheart from California, Mary Louise Reynnells.

During the presentation, Jackson Harris, National FFA Southern Region Vice President, shared remarks expressing the history and tradition of the FFA jacket as well as the bright future it represents for all those who wear it. “This ceremony does not symbolize that the FFA jacket is history. This ceremony reminds us that the FFA jacket makes history. The wearers of this special piece will continue to make history, for the next eighty years and beyond,” said Harris.

Guest Blogger McKenzie Baecker is an intern in OCTAE and will be continuing her studies in the fall at University of Wisconsin at River Falls.