This month, a longtime tradition in the area is going stronger than ever as the Blue & Gold Sausage Co. celebrates its 50th anniversary. Local Future Farmers of America (FFA) organizations continue to reap many benefits from the company's fundraising business.

This month, a longtime tradition in the area is going stronger than ever as the Blue & Gold Sausage Co. celebrates its 50th anniversary. Local Future Farmers of America (FFA) organizations continue to reap many benefits from the company's fundraising business.

Dakota Streber, McLoud High School's FFA adviser, said Blue & Gold impacts his class by allowing the chapter funds to buy technology and curriculum for his classroom.

McLoud school district supports the fundraiser because they know how much of an impact it has on our chapter and the community, he said. It also helps offset costs of yearly educational materials.

“The community loves the products, and the product literally sells itself,” Streber said. “People of the community are always asking when we will be selling next.”

As for teaching use, Streber said the students are able to work on verbal communication and sales skills by going out into the public to sell Blue & Gold products.

“This fundraiser is very important,” he said. “It is our only fundraiser we do each semester.”

He said one fundraiser done right is better than a lot of smaller fundraisers.

“Most of our students are in multiple activities and (have) fundraisers throughout the year with different organizations,” he said. “Blue and Gold works best for us.”

Bethel FFA Adviser Kolton Shipley had a similar response. He said the impact is great on his students. There is so much more than just fundraising involved, he explained.

“(It's) not only the monetary support that their fundraisers provide to us to help these students compete in many different contests and competitions and better themselves at conferences and conventions,” Shipley said, “but I also think it provides another unique opportunity.”

He said the way that students get out and sell not only makes their organization visible in the community and build community relations, but he also believes it can help students realize a future career.

“It gives them first-hand experience making cold calls and selling agricultural products,” he said. “The way in which they have to keep records of all of their orders and keep track of money is a huge teaching moment.”

Blue & Gold's start

According to its website, family owned and operated in Jones since 1970, Blue & Gold now helps more than 1,000 groups raise money for trips, community projects, equipment.

The concept began in the early 1960s, the site reads. As an agricultural education teacher in Jones, Don Ramsey was constantly faced with the responsibility of raising money for his FFA chapter.

The website states to fund their ongoing projects, Ramsey began processing pigs raised by his FFA members and making breakfast sausage for the students to sell.

As the popularity of the fundraiser grew, so did the number of groups wanting to participate.

“Little did Mr. Ramsey know that this unique project would grow into a successful business providing unexcelled fundraising opportunities for other FFA chapters, bands, youth groups and nonprofit organizations in Oklahoma and the surrounding area,” the site reads.

Blue & Gold products are sold exclusively through fundraising efforts; they are not available in stores.

Years ago the sausage company added chicken fritters and bacon to its offerings.

Participating groups currently generate more than $5,000,000 annually for their projects.

For more information, visit blueandgoldsausage.com.