Syngenta and Its Ag Retailers Support FFA

The Syngenta Blue Jacket program helps provide recognition and opportunities for National FFA Organization members.
Syngenta and Its Ag Retailers Support FFA
Michael Boden, head of crop protection sales at Syngenta, shakes hands with an FFA member at a recent National FFA Convention.
Syngenta has supported FFA for more than 50 years through donations, awards and hands-on learning experiences at national and local levels. As part of that support, Syngenta, along with its retail partners, has made significant contributions to the Syngenta Blue Jacket Program. The iconic FFA blue jacket symbolizes the organization’s commitment to agriculture and its mission of making a positive difference in the lives of young people.

“Since 2008, we’ve matched every $2,500 pledged by retailers to benefit the program,” says Michael Boden, head of crop protection sales at Syngenta. “As a result, the Syngenta Blue Jacket Program alone has generated more than $6.5 million in contributions to local FFA chapters.”

The @SyngentaUS Blue Jacket program provides #ageducation opportunities to National FFA Organization members.

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On the local level, retailers participating in the Syngenta Blue Jacket Program choose an FFA chapter or chapters to sponsor. Syngenta then awards $750 in unrestricted financial assistance to each selected chapter on behalf of the retailer. Each chapter also receives a blue jacket, which can serve as a chapter jacket or go to a deserving student within the chapter. With this help from Syngenta and retailers, FFA provided more than 2,000 jackets in 2018.

“The blue jacket is more than a piece of clothing,” says Shea Booster, western region vice president of the National FFA Organization. “It’s the thread that ties our organization and our members together.”

The effects of the Syngenta Blue Jacket Program are deep and long-lasting. “FFA members are the future of our industry, and it’s in our best interest to provide support and help them pursue their dreams and aspirations,” says Marshall Dolch, district marketing lead of the West Heartland region at Syngenta. “We work alongside a number of retail accounts throughout West Heartland with this initiative and are always striving to increase the number of participants each year.”

“FFA prepared me for college and life. It helped to make me who I am today.”

Kevin Sagehorn
Aurora Cooperative, based in Aurora, Nebraska, is one of those retail partners. It has more than 80 locations serving farm owners in several states and has participated in the Syngenta Blue Jacket Program for eight years, supporting about 40 chapters.

“The program is a good way to participate in our local communities and schools,” says Kevin Sagehorn, the cooperative’s head of marketing.

Aurora Cooperative also donates $50,000 annually to local and state FFA programs, including the I Believe in the Future of Ag campaign. FFA uses the funds for various activities, such as helping to defray some of the costs of state FFA conventions, leadership programs, livestock shows and more.

Once FFA members themselves, Dolch and Sagehorn appreciate the support from Syngenta and its retailer partners.

“As a student, I always knew that Syngenta supported and cared about FFA,” says Dolch, who was an officer in the Iowa FFA in 2012 and 2013.

Sagehorn was president of the Nebraska FFA in 1995 and 1996. “FFA prepared me for college and life,” he says. “It helped to make me who I am today.”

To these men and the many thousands of other FFA members, continuing support means the world.