2019 FFA Blue & Gold Huge Success
Bring together more than 560 passionate advocates for FFA, give them the opportunity to contribute through an incredible silent and live auction, provide dinner and entertainment and unbelievable outcomes are bound to happen at ‘The Biggest Night in Arizona Agriculture.’
The 3rd annual Blue & Gold Gala presented by Arizona Farm Bureau and Farm Bureau Financial Services raised more than $260,000 for the Arizona Agricultural Education/FFA Foundation on January 26, 2019 at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass. Respected Emmy award-wining television personality, Jan D’Atri served as the evenings emcee and shared with attendees how FFA members were an integral part of the entire evening from FFA members assisting with set up and greeting guests to the centerpieces created by FFA members, opening entertainment provided by Marana FFA Alumni member Rachel Crist along with the National Anthem performed by Peoria FFA member Taylor Thompson and the official opening ceremonies presented by the Arizona State FFA Officers.
Arizona’s immediate Past National FFA Officer, Bryce Cluff shared the impact FFA can make as he stood in front of the stunning backdrop of 81 FFA Jackets representing one from each chapter in Arizona. Each jacket in the backdrop was sponsored and went to an FFA member in need of a jacket from the respective chapter.
The evening also included the presentation of the Blue & Gold Award to The Kemper & Ethel Marley Foundation and the 2018 Agriculturalist of the Year, Dennis Bagnall.
The Blue & Gold Award recognizes an individual, group or organization that best supports the Foundation, The Arizona FFA youth and agriculture education. This year The Kemper & Ethel Marley Foundation was recognized for their long-time commitment and support to the Arizona Agricultural Education/FFA Foundation since 2006. To ensure the future success of Agricultural Education and FFA in Arizona the Marley Foundation has supported such programs as the Greenhand and Chapter Officer Leadership Training, State FFA Camp, State FFA Leadership Conference, Midwinter Conference and other valuable programs. They have made a significant impact and difference in the lives of more than 11,000 students enrolled in agricultural education classrooms across Arizona and their contribution demonstrates their deep commitment to ensuring a bright future for those students.
The Agriculturalist of the Year is given annually to a member of the agriculture community who has a strong spirit of leadership and has made a significant contribution to Arizona agriculture and the community. The State FFA Officers from the Arizona Association FFA make the selection annually from nominations from FFA members across Arizona.
Dennis Bagnall, owner of Morning Star Farms, has produced as much as 1,600 acres of cotton annually in Coolidge, Florence and the surrounding areas for more than 17 years. Aside from cotton, the Bagnall family also produces alfalfa, wheat, milo, barley and raises cattle. Coolidge Agriculture Education Instructor and FFA Advisor, Elizabeth Skornik shared; “Bagnall’s impact on the Coolidge FFA chapter, specifically has been second to none. His family was imperative in designing and building the Coolidge agriculture barn, which houses more than 35 student livestock projects. They have donated fertilizers, pesticides and equipment to the chapter to care for their fields of sweet corn which they sell as a chapter fundraiser.”
Another highlight of the evening was the drawing of the FFA Gator Raffle sponsored by Stotz Equipment with the lucky winner being Patrick Sobel.
“The Blue & Gold Gala was a magnificent evening which will have a positive impact on FFA and Agricultural Education in Arizona,” Steve Goucher, FFA Foundation President shared. The 4th annual Blue & Gold Gala presented by the Arizona Farm Bureau & Farm Bureau Financial Services for the 4th consecutive year is set for February 22, 2020. More details will be shared as they develop at www.blueandgoldgala.org.