Catch a major league game, raise support and awareness of FFA this summer

FFA_Day

We have a cool campaign that launched Monday to raise awareness of FFA from the nation’s capital to Washington state this summer.

Eight Major League Baseball teams – the Seattle Mariners, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals – will host FFA Day at the Ballpark games this summer. Continue reading

Kentucky couple’s generosity to give gift of blue for years to come

To kick off 2014 National FFA Week, Kentucky businessman Don Ball shares details about a new $500,000 endowment that he and wife Mira recently established for the National FFA Organization with National FFA officers Mitch Baker of Tennessee (left) and Steven Brockshus of Iowa at Ball’s home in Lexington, Ky.

To kick off 2014 National FFA Week, Kentucky businessman Don Ball shares details about a new $500,000 endowment that he and wife Mira recently established for the National FFA Organization with National FFA officers Mitch Baker of Tennessee (left) and Steven Brockshus of Iowa at Ball’s home in Lexington, Ky.
(Photo by Wales Hunter/National FFA Organization)

Thanks to the generosity of a philanthropy-focused Kentucky couple, deserving FFA members will be getting a gift of blue for years to come.

Don and Mira Ball, who co-founded Lexington, Ky.-based custom home-building company Ball Homes more than 50 years ago, kicked off 2014 National FFA Week by inviting some National FFA and Kentucky FFA officers to their home and share details about an endowment they created to support the National FFA Organization’s Give the Gift of Blue campaign. Continue reading

Get Back Up: Josh Sundquist Tells FFA Members to Buck Adversity

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By Caroline Weihl, National FFA Convention & Expo Newsroom Reporter

Life is tough. Overcoming adversity in tough times is a life-long practice that challenges many. We often give up. But when an amputee shares how he is able to get up after consecutive falls, does that change our perspective?

Josh Sundquist shared his personal struggles and the comical ways he’s overcome adversity at the seventh general session of the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo in Louisville.

Beginning his presentation running around the stage and sharing many jocular comments, Sundquist engaged the audience with his embarrassing experiences with one leg. He shared his experience of receiving his cancer diagnosis and losing reach of his dream to play on a travel soccer team.

“When it feels like everything in your life is falling down around you, the best you can hope for is the strength to stand and have the courage to walk,” Sundquist said to a captivated audience.

Even in his moments of defeat, Sundquist saw the positives and pursued them. He set his sights on a new goal, to be a ski racer. With hard work and perseverance, he qualified and skied on the U.S. Paralympic Ski Team. His message to the FFA audience: stay motivated to overcome obstacles and see the opportunities ahead.

“Among all human beings, adversity is universal. I know everyone in the audience has problems they are struggling with right now,” Sundquist said. “Sometimes the uniform we get in life is better than the one we thought we wanted.”

Sundquist was excited about the vibrant, young audience in Freedom Hall and concluded with a personalized, ukulele rendition of Tom’s Petty’s “Free Falling.”

“The question is not will you fall down,” Sundquist said. “It is how fast will you get back up?”

Caroline Weihl is a senior at The Ohio State University studying agricultural communications. Originally raised on a beef and grain farm in Bowling Green, Ohio, she is an alumna of Otsego FFA Chapter, a 2010 National FFA Band participant and 2011-12 state FFA officer. Find Caroline’s social media sites at about.me/CarolineWeihl.

FFA Launches Give Blue Program During FFA Jacket’s 80th Anniversary

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By Caroline Weihl, National FFA Convention & Expo Newsroom Reporter

The emblem of the National FFA Organization is a well-known symbol inclusive of the values in the organization. This logo is famous from its most prominent location on the back of the official FFA jacket.

This year celebrates 80 years since the adoption of the jacket. With references during general sessions and in various displays, everyone is proud of the unique blue corduroy. The jacket is an iconic part of the FFA and many members cherish the chance to proudly wear that blue corduroy. However, some students don’t have the chance to own and wear a personalized jacket. Continue reading