FREDERICKTOWN — This year’s limited edition plate auction at the Fredericktown Tomato Show, Sept. 5-8 this year, is very special because it features 10 plates and a platter honoring the FFA jacket, which was designed by Fredericktown agricultural teacher and advisor to the Fredericktown FFA chapter, Dr. J.H. “Gus” Lintner, in 1933.
A jacket was commissioned for members to wear to the FFA’s National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. Members wore their jackets as part of a uniform because they were performing as the official FFA Band at the convention. They were so impressed by the design, the organization adopted the jacket as part of the FFA’s Official Dress. Millions of members all across the country have worn the jacket, since it’s debut 85 years ago.
The blue corduroy jacket is a widely recognized symbol of the National FFA Organization, formerly Future Farmers of America. Founded in 1928 to promote agricultural education, FFA continues its mission 90 years later in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The official FFA jacket was and still is made by Universal Lettering Company in Van Wert, Ohio.
Knox County residents will recognize some of the names of the original FFA Band members that performed and wore the first FFA jackets to the National Convention back in 1933: Stanley Algire, Kensel Ault, Max Bryant, Robert Bunnell, Ed Campbell, Earl DeBolt, Hershel Dunmire, Wayne Durbin, Merle Grant, Willard Grant, Donald Hathaway, Raymond Hines, Bob James, Dale Levering, Don Levering, Ray Manise, Lewis Marts, Hoy McDonald, George McIntire, Neil Overly, Wendell Randall, Harlan Ridenour, Murray Ronk, Owen Ruhl, Linden Scheff, Richard Shaffer, Ronald Shinaberry, Paul Smith, Albert Stillwell, Wendell Streby, David Swank, Fred Tennant and Doyle Wertz. These band members were under the supervision of Lintner, Homer B. Wood (superintendent and band director) and Dr. E.V. Ackerman (school board president).
Though the plate auction doesn’t begin until 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, plan to arrive at the main stage area before 7 p.m., to take part in the special presentation of a historical marker honoring the official FFA jacket. The program will be presented by school and FFA dignitaries.