Community Ag Alliance: The significance of the blue corduroy jacket |

Community Ag Alliance: The significance of the blue corduroy jacket

Jenna H. Keller/For the Steamboat Today

Back in the back closet of many homes in northwestern Colorado (including my own), there is a corduroy blue jacket that somehow manages to keep its place in the closet despite the lack of wear in recent years. That sentimental attachment to an old FFA jacket comes out a bit more this time year as FFA Week is celebrated locally and nationally.

This past week, 7,600 FFA chapters and 610,000 FFA members celebrated and supported FFA and agricultural education. Agricultural education is crucial to the future of agricultural both nationally and right here in our community ranging from classes on horticulture to ag mechanics to animal sciences.

At the state level, familiar faces to Routt County such as Temple Grandin (guest speaker of CSU and Routt County CattleWomen on animal handling systems) and Jim Odle (Drought Management Workshop speaker and whose efforts nationwide have transformed the way cattle are marketed) were inducted in the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame Banquet Thursday.

The Hall of Fame is held annually to honor those who have made significant contributions to our state and nation’s agricultural industry. Proceeds from the banquet support the Colorado FFA Foundation that seeks resources — human, financial and in-kind — to support agricultural education in Colorado, including students (FFA, ATA and CYFEA), teachers (CVATA) and alumni.

Northwestern Colorado is also the proud home of two state FFA officers including FFA State Secretary Jaelyn Whaley from Soroco and State Treasurer Clay Russell serving from Walden, as well as Dave Summers from Craig as the Colorado FFA Alumni Association president.

While many FFA chapters conduct community events locally during FFA Week, Soroco High School FFA will be focusing on National Agricultural Week at the end of March the same as the Community Agricultural Alliance.

With nearly half of the high school enrollment as members of the Soroco FFA, there are a myriad of activities planned and devoted to the importance of agriculture. Activities range from a teacher appreciation to agricultural Olympics to ag facts on the school TVs to posters throughout the school, all aimed on providing education on the importance of agricultural.

What else to do local FFA students do? Well, activities range from public speaking to parliamentary procedure to time in the shop building projects to animal science education to community service.

If you would like to support Soroco FFA, mark 6 p.m. May 7 on your calendars for the group’s annual banquet — the community is welcome, and you can’t miss the silent auction featuring many items directly from FFA members. For more information, contact Jay Whaley at or 970-736-2531, ext. 4017.

And if you were wondering when you could get that FFA jacket out of the back closet, the Friday of FFA Week is known as “Blue Day,” so if you missed the chance to put on that jacket this past Friday, mark your calendar next year to wear that jacket and support our local FFA students.

Jenna H. Keller, of Keller Law, LLC, is a Community Ag Alliance director and Colorado FFA Foundation board member.

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