The Big Horn County Farm Bureau, along with First Interstate Bank/Hardin, has presented two deserving students with FFA jackets as part of the Blue Jacket Bonanza. Receiving the jackets were Vanessa Chavez from Lodge Grass High School/Little Big Horn FFA and Thomas RidestheHorse from Hardin High School/Big Horn FFA. 

The Big Horn County Farm Bureau was the first county Farm Bureau in Montana to partner with the Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau in California on a program they call the Blue Jacket Bonanza. The Blue Jacket Bonanza was organized to provide FFA students the opportunity to earn their own FFA jacket based on need, community service, leadership skills and a commitment to FFA.  

“The FFA is a great program and Farm Bureau is very pleased they are able to give jackets to deserving students,” noted Big Horn County Farm Bureau President Casey Mott. “It’s rewarding to see the students take FFA seriously and really appreciate getting the FFA jacket from us.”  

“I want the jacket to represent future farmers and agriculture,” Ridesthehorse said. After graduating from high school, he plans to go to the University of Montana to get a degree, join the military and eventually become a police officer. 

As for his legacy, the freshman noted,  “I would like my legacy to be that I am seen as a “good, hard-working person.” 

Chavez said she applied for the jacket because she wants it as a representation of FFA as a respected and well-organized program—and one that helps young people be successful. 

“I plan to pursue a career in agriculture because I realize it’s so much more than just producing food,” Chavez said. “I want to be able have a general knowledge of electricity, mechanics, construction and welding.   

The young woman explains that she wants her legacy to be that she is a dependable, hard-working person. “I am trying to achieve these by getting good grades and making it to school every day.  I try every day to be the best student so that I reflect positively on all my classmates. I hope that through my example of leadership I can influence others to become positive hard-working people as well,” Chavez said. “It is through actions like these that we can start to promote agriculture in a positive light, not only at my school but in my community and state. It is important that agriculture and FFA are always shown in a positive light as we are under the highest scrutiny from people who are disconnected from the agricultural way of life.”

If you’re interested in bringing Blue Jacket Bonanza to your community, contact your Regional Manager to learn how.