Blue corduroy jackets, a symbol of the traditions and fellowship found behind each FFA member, were gifted to local students Feb. 11 by the Delaware Farm Bureau during the 90th annual Delaware FFA conference.

“Today, I’m here representing the Delaware Farm Bureau as its president, but yesterday, I was just like you: an FFA-er, student at Milford High School, past chapter leader, a past state leader, and the ideals that I learned from my involvement with the FFA I’ve applied specifically to my leadership life as an agriculturist,” said DFB President Richard Wilkins before presenting the awardees.

Describing the jacket as a “great symbol of American agriculture,” Wilkins said, “It gives us great pleasure to be able to support you with the Blue Jacket Bonanza Program. Because we realize, the Farm Bureau leaders, that when you put on this blue and gold jacket, that you’re representing the traditions and the spirits of citizenship, of leadership, of vocational education.”

This year, 44 students received the gift of an FFA blue jacket through the program. Since 2015, DFB has awarded 291 jackets totaling $17,525 through the program.

Awardees for 2020 include, from Appoquinimink High School, Keeley McCormick; from Caesar Rodney High School, Vanessa Gaines, Madison Arsenault, Joshua Boyles, Abigail Meaney, Gabrielle Frasier, Luis Moreno, Donna Urian, Shelby Serrano and Karissa Hernandez; from Middletown High School, Rylee Albany, Weslee Harkins, Faith Housler, Jacob Green, Ashlee Prall, Reese Albany, Adrianna Mazzio, Emerson Hickey and Anna Kimbel; from MOT Charter School, Karen Netto, Amanda Martin and Daisy Timney; from Seaford High School, Zane Adams, Nathalia Arbaiza and Hannah Moore; from Sussex Central High School, Elizabeth Houseman, Breyden Wright, Katerine Gutierrez, Leilani Brogan, Kailie Olszewski and Rebecca Tripp; from Thomas Mckean High School, Makayla Bradley; from Smyrna High School, Isabella McMullen, Alexis McCanney, Sydney Kirch, Evan Denney, Elizabeth Evans, Hannah Everhart, Megan Dinsmore and Faith Hewes; from William Penn High School, Harlie Malvezzi and Ardella Webb; and, from Woodbridge High School, Harley Short and Sabrina Gerving.