By JOLENE CRAIG
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Wrangler Western and the National FFA Organization are celebrating a half century of working together during the 85th annual National FFA Convention next week.
“Wrangler has been a sponsor of the FFA for 50 years,” said FFA spokeswoman Kristy Meyer. “It is a great milestone and we have plans to thank them during the convention.”
In fact, during an Oct. 25 presentation, Wrangler will be recognized for what they have done and continue to do for the FFA.
“Wrangler is honored to have a hand in fostering future agricultural leaders,” said a company spokeswoman, who declined to be identified by name.
Wrangler, which has manufactured denim products since 1947, is only three years younger than the FFA itself, and the two seemed to be perfectly married, Meyer said. “It just works, really well,” she added.
After more than 50 years of sponsorship, the denim brand continues to give to the organization at a Four Star level, between $50,000-$99,999 annually.
“Wrangler is a proud supporter of the FFA,” the company spokeswoman stated. “More than $3 million in product has been donated, as well as funding and employee time to the organization.”
During last year’s National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis, the Western apparel company offered a pair of jeans to each FFA member featured in the FFA Faces during the year.
Also, Wrangler has a line of FFA wear - shirts, jackets and other items - geared toward the student members and officials.
As a major sponsor, Wrangler’s name is listed throughout the event on booths and other representation to those at the convention. On Oct. 22, the company will sponsor the Wrangler Dinner for Delegates and State Officers. Everyone in attendance is encouraged to wear their Wrangler Western clothing, which typically means cowboy boots and a pair of jeans.
This year, attendees will also receive a buy-one-get-one certificate from the company. “It’s something Wrangler can do to welcome the FFA officers and delegates to the great event,” the Wrangler spokeswoman said.
Meyer said the dinner is a special time for the delegates and officers.
“It’s a little more casual and gives them an opportunity to thank Wrangler,” she said. “It’s one thing for us to thank the sponsors, but it’s another thing for the kids to thank them.”
The company also sponsors smaller events throughout the year, including summer-based programs in preparation for the national convention. This year, one of those events was the National Leadership Conference for State Officers, or NLCSO. The NLCSO is a separate National FFA program that helps officer teams identify their strengths and weaknesses as a group, and learn advanced communication strategies at 10 regional locations.
The NLCSO occurs during the year before the national conference.
“Being part of the FFA leadership events is part of Wrangler’s commitment to the FFA’s mission to make a positive difference in the lives of young people,” added Wrangler’s spokeswoman.