Iowa delegation & corduroy jackets

Iowa's five congressmen have joined to sponsor a bill that calls for creation of commemorate coins wihch would be sold to benefit the Future Farmers of America.  According to the FFA's website, there are about half a million FFA members in the country today.  There are an estimated 12,000 FFA members in Iowa, many of whom own one of the organization's iconic navy blue corduroy jackets.

Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Waterloo) sent out a news release about the bill.  Braley spokesman Jeff Giertz says Braley did not own one of those corduroy jackets, but Braley's dad was in the FFA.

"Bruce was not in the FFA, because he lived in town.  His father Byard Braley, however, was named Iowa Farmer in the Production category (now known as an Iowa FFA Degree) at Montezuma High School in 1943, which is the highest honor you can achieve in the FFA," Giertz wrote in an email earlier today.  "Bruce’s mom, Marcia, was in 4-H."

Spokespersonsfor Congressmen Steve King (R-Kiron) and Dave Loebsack (D-Mount Vernon) say neither was in FFA.  Neither Congressman Tom Latham (R-Ames) nor Congressman Leonard Boswell (D-Des Moines) have FFA membership listed in their online bios;spokespersons for the two congressmen have not replied to an email inquiry about their involvement in FFA.

UPDATE, one day later: Boswell spokeswoman Jane Slusark called the Radio iowa newsroom to say Boswell was a member of FFA when he was a student at Lamoni High School. Latham spokesman Fred Love emails: "Latham was in both FFA and 4-H." 

Read Braley's news release below.

Braley Introduces Bill Authorizing Coin to Commemorate 85th Anniversary of the Future Farmers of America

Washington, DC – Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) announced today that he and the Iowa House delegation have introduced a bill providing for the minting of a coin commemorating the Future Farmers of America’s (FFA) 85th anniversary.

October 2012 marks the 85th anniversary of the FFA.  Under the National Future Farmers of America Commemorative Coin Act of 2009 (HR 3464), 100,000 commemorative gold coins worth $25 dollars and 500,000 commemorative coins worth $10 will be minted in 2012, reflecting the history and accomplishments of the FFA. 

“For 85 years, the National Future Farmers of America Organization has taught young people around the country the importance of leadership and responsibility,” Braley said.  “Through agricultural education, FFA instills in its members a drive to set and achieve goals and to excel in each of their endeavors. This coin will commemorate the accomplishments of FFA since its founding in 1928 and help to support its continued success.”

The National FFA Organization was founded in 1928 and chartered by Congress in 1950.  The FFA has nearly 508,000 members in more than 7,400 local chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  There are more than 9 million former FFA members.

The National FFA Organization makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.  The FFA’s agricultural education model for use in public school systems has been adopted by youth leadership organizations throughout the world. 

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.