Remembering Jerry
by Heather Rayner
We remember Jerry Cullison not just as the founding President of the Arizona Agricultural Education/FFA Foundation, but also as a man who believed and stood strongly for agricultural education and the FFA. Jerry was a product of the system, having served as a National Vice President representing the West, and took the ideals of the FFA and articulated those throughout his life. With his lifelong farming in the Wellton area he supported the local FFA chapter, Antelope, for more than 40 years by buying every new FFA member their jackets.
But it was much more than that. He and his wife Lynne believed so strongly in agricultural education that they established a $1 million endowment through the Foundation to support the education of future agricultural teachers through the University of Arizona’s Department of Agricultural Education, Technology and Innovation. This endowment will continue to make a difference to teachers and those they serve for generations.

Dr. Robert Torres, chair of the Agricultural Education, Technology and Innovation department, concurs. “We remain grateful for the J.R. Cullison Endowment in providing critical support for students pursuing a career in school based agricultural education while at the University of Arizona. The impact of this support will continue to be borne out in the lives and daily interactions these teachers have with their students.”
We will also always remember Jerry for his love of agriculture, agricultural education and the FFA program that impacted his life and that he continues to impact through his and Lynne’s generous support to agricultural education and the FFA.

At Jerry’s funeral, pastor Cecil Pratt said that Jerry believed in the ‘Fs, including the Phs.’ Pratt went on to explain that what he meant by that was this, that Jerry loved his God and was a faithful man, he loved his family, he loved farming, he loved philanthropy, and he loved the FFA. I can’t imagine a better statement for summing up Jerry than that he loved the ‘Fs’, as Pastor Pratt told it.

In the foyer area of the church in Wellton, there were numerous pictures of him with his family, his friends and receiving honors throughout his life including receiving the first ever Blue and Gold award given by the FFA Foundation. Also in the foyer were the numerous plaques and awards he had received. Honestly, the area was packed with remembrances from a life well lived.

But what struck me was when you went into the chapel; next to the casket was a table with a large picture of Jerry and his National Vice President FFA jacket. What a great statement that next to Jerry was the symbol of the FFA organization that he had served so well throughout his life.

His service to agricultural education and our youth is and will always be unparalleled. He will be missed.
The 5th annual Blue & Gold Gala is an event you don't want to miss! Mark your calendar and grab your tickets early. The last gala sold out a month ahead! For registration and sponsorship information visit

We are seeking support for silent auction and gift card donations. If you would like to donate a product, service or gift card please visit the link below to submit your donation. This is a great opportunity to market to more than 600 attendees and additional participants through the online bidding.
The National FFA Convention will be held virtually October 27-29, 2020.

National judging results were just released and we are very proud of all of our Arizona participants this year. Here is a highlight of how Arizona placed.
  • Four of our eight gold chapters received the highest 3-star rating! Congratulations Buckeye, Canyon View, Casa Grande and Queen Creek!
  • Casa Grande is a national finalist in the Strengthening Agriculture division of the National Chapter Program!
  • Four of our six Agriscience Fair entries are National Finalists! Congratulations to Buckeye (2 teams), Trivium and Highland!
  • In the proficiency award program we had 2 golds (Avery Sawyer from Buckeye and Livi Lawrence from Basha), 5 silvers and 17 bronzes!

We are very proud of Kailee Zimmerman, Arizona National Officer candidate. We wish her the best of luck!

Everyone will have an opportunity to be a part of the 93rd National FFA Convention by participating virtually. Registration opens September 22. For more details about convention visit
Blue Jacket Legacy Program
In the past two years the Arizona Agricultural Education/FFA Foundation through the generous contributions of donors has been able to donate 176 FFA Jackets to FFA members from across Arizona! This year our goal is to award 100 jackets.

The jackets will be on display at the 5th annual Blue & Gold gala and then distributed to students just days later at the Spring Conference. This state competition will be the first time the FFA member will be able to wear their very own FFA jacket as they compete.

Through a contribution of $75, you can help us continue the Blue Jacket Legacy. Be a part of making a positive impact on a students life.
Arizona FFA Foundation Website Blog
Don't miss out on the new blog posts featured each week on the website. Blog features include: Member Monday, Where Are They Now, Donor Spotlight and Teacher Highlight. We will also feature the University of Arizona, agriculture education student teachers as we go through the year. Catch the blogs as they rotate throughout the month. You can catch up on back previous blogs!
Bustin' Clay for FFA
Make sure you save the date to join us May 15, 2021 for the Bustin' Clay for FFA Trap Shoot! Due to the Executive Order with the limit of group size and for the safety of participants we have postponed the event. This provides you time to gather your team participants and practice for this fun event! Sponsorship and raffle donation opportunities are available. For more information visit
Thank You For Supporting the
Face Mask Fundraiser
We are grateful to everyone for supporting the recent Face Mask fundraiser. Through the generosity of donors we raised just over $2,360 through the sales and additional contributions.
Arizona Association FFA License Plate Program
Support Opportunities Available
There are several opportunities available to sponsor an FFA or Agriculture Teacher Program this year! If you or your company would like to learn more about the sponsor opportunities please contact Rochell Planty at rochell@azffafoundation or 602-705-9211 for more information. There are support opportunities as low as $275.

Here are some of the opportunities available:

Proficiency Award
  • Goat Production Entrepreneur/Placement

Career Development Events (CDE)
  • Agricultural Communications CDE
  • Agricultural Mechanics CDE
  • Aquaculture CDE
  • Entomology CDE
  • Forestry CDE
  • Poultry CDE
  • Wildlife CDE

Leadership Development Events (LDE)
  • Conduct of Meetings LDE Awards (Co-Support)
  • Marketing Plan LDE
  • Parliamentary Procedure LDE Awards (Co-Support)

FFA Programs
  • Agriscience Fair Awards
  • Senior Pinnacle Leadership Conference
  • State FFA Camp
  • Student Recruitment Program
  • Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) for All Program

State Leadership Conference
  • Courtesy Corp
  • National Chapter Awards (Co-Support)
  • National Chapter Travel (Co-Support)
  • Star State Greenhand (Co-Support)
  • Superior Chapter Awards (Co-Support)

Arizona Agriculture Teachers Association Programs
  • Fall Conference Dinner
  • Summer BBQ
  • Annual Teacher Awards Program
  • Ideas Unlimited Award Program
  • Professional Development

UofA Department of Agriculture Education Innovation & Technology
  • UofA Agriculture Education Teacher Retention Program                                        
Life insurance can be a super-charged gift to the Arizona Agricultural Education/FFA Foundation. If you own a paid-up life insurance policy, you can designate the Foundation as the policy’s beneficiary. Conversely, you can assign ownership of the policy to the Foundation and claim an income tax deduction for a portion of the policy’s value. Either way, when the time comes, the Foundation receives the proceeds. This allows you to provide a large gift to benefit the Foundation — often more than you may be able to donate outright. 

If you’d like more information, please contact Rochell Planty at 602-705-9211 or
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