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Career & Leadership Development Events

For students who ask their teachers, “When will I ever use this in the real world?” Career and Leadership Development Events (CDE/LDE) are the answer. Since 1928, FFA has worked to create CDEs and LDEs that demonstrate the meaningful connections between classroom instruction and real-life scenarios. CDEs and LDEs build on what is learned in agricultural classes and the FFA.

The events are designed to help prepare students for careers in agriculture. Classroom instruction comes alive as students demonstrate their skills in a competitive setting. CDEs and LDEs test the abilities of individuals and teams in 24 major areas of agricultural instruction.

Future State CDE Dates

April 30 – May 2, 2023
April 28 – 30, 2024
May 4 – 6, 2025
May 3 – 5, 2026
Career Development Events
Agricultural Communications CDE
Overview: Participants in the Agricultural Communications Career Development Event (CDE) work as a team of communication consultants to develop a written media plan, present the plan to a panel of judges, and, as individuals, apply what they have learned during practicums, a quiz and editing exercise.
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Agricultural Mechanics CDE
Overview: The Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems Career Development Event helps students develop technical knowledge and an ability to work with others to solve complex agricultural problems. The event is built around students learning and executing a “systems approach” – or the process of understanding how solving one problem influences others.
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Agricultural Sales CDE
Overview: Students competing in the Agricultural Sales Career Development Event gain experience and skills essential to the production and marketing of agricultural products. The team event illustrates related careers and offers a firsthand look at developing product knowledge and driving sales.
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Agronomy CDE
Overview: The Agronomy Career Development Event challenges students to build and demonstrate knowledge in the wide field of agronomy. Participation grants students exposure to many ways that science and technology collaborate to grow the world’s major food crops.
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Dairy Cattle Evaluation CDE
Overview: The Dairy Cattle Evaluation CDE helps students develop skills in dairy cattle selection and herd management. Participants evaluate the cattle’s physical characteristics, and explain their various classes.
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Entomology CDE
Overview: The Entomology Career Development Event introduces FFA members to the fundamentals of entomology and develops skills in identification of common insects and their relatives using taxonomy and nomenclature used by practitioners in the industry and in the scientific community. Understanding insects and key species is of utmost importance to agricultural crops and animal production, conservation, human and companion animal health and well-being.
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Farm and Agribusiness Management CDE
Overview: The Farm and Agribusiness Management Career Development Event helps students learn business skills and apply economic principles to agricultural businesses. By competing, participants demonstrate their ability to analyze agricultural business management information, apply economic principles and concepts of business management, evaluate business management decisions and work together cooperatively as a team.
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Floriculture CDE
Overview: The Floriculture Career Development Event stimulates career interest, encourages proficiency development, and recognizes excellence in students of floriculture production and maintenance through the agriculture education curriculum.
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Food Science and Technology CDE
Overview: The Food Science and Technology Career Development Event requires students to have an in-depth understanding of food product development, food presentation and food safety issues. Participants also use their sensory skills to solve problems and make sound decisions.
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Horse Evaluation CDE
Overview: Students who participate in the Horse Evaluation Career Development Event gain new insights into equine science by evaluating and ranking horses based on breed characteristics, conformation and performance. Participants defend their decisions through oral reasons in front of a panel of judges.
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Livestock Evaluation CDE
Overview: During the Livestock Evaluation Career Development Event, students work within teams to rank breeding and market classes of beef, sheep and swine and give oral reasons to back up their decisions.
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Meats Evaluation & Technology CDE
Overview: Participants in the Meats Evaluation and Technology Career Development Event delve into the science of meat. During this team event, students evaluate beef carcasses for quality and yield grade; identify various meat cuts and place carcasses; and identify wholesale and/or retail cuts.
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Milk Quality & Products CDE
Overview: Participants in the Milk Quality and Products Career Development Event demonstrate their knowledge about the quality production, processing, distribution, promotion and marketing of milk and dairy foods.
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Nursery/ Landscape CDE
Overview: The Nursery⁄Landscape CDE tests students skills in horticultural principles, from landscape design to nursery propagation.
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Poultry Evaluation CDE
Overview: Participants in the Poultry Evaluation Career Development Event select live meat-type chickens for broiler breeding, evaluate and place live egg-type hens, and rate the finished product by evaluating and grading ready-to-cook carcasses and parts of chickens and turkeys.
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Veterinary Science CDE
Overview: In the Veterinary Science Career Development Event, students working in teams demonstrate their technical competency with small and large animals by completing a written exam, critical-thinking scenario questions, identifications and hands-on practicums.
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Leadership Development Events
Agricultural Issues Forum LDE
Overview: The purpose of the agricultural issues forum is to present a current issue to a public audience; therefore, professional ethics and standards are to be considered.
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Creed Speaking LDE
Overview: The FFA Creed outlines the organization’s beliefs regarding the industry of agriculture, FFA membership and the value of citizenship and patriotism. The Creed is recited by FFA members as part of the requirements to earn the Greenhand FFA Degree. The purpose of the Creed speaking leadership development event is to develop the public speaking abilities of freshman FFA members as well as develop their self-confidence and contribute to their advancement in the FFA degree program.
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Discussion Meet LDE
Overview: The FFA Discussion Meet is an event designed to stimulate logical thinking, develop skills in communication and problem solving and engage FFA members in solutions for important topics of today's agriculture industry.
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District Leadership School
Overview: Each of the seven districts will conduct a Leadership School, the event will consist of three areas: Parliamentary Procedure, Ritual (Opening & Closing Ceremony) and Leadership Information Test.
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Employment Skills LDE
Overview: The FFA Employment Skills LDE is an individual event. The event is developed to help participants in their current job search for part-time and full-time employment.
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Extemporaneous Public Speaking LDE
Overview: Extemporaneous Public Speaking LDE is designed to develop agricultural leadership in FFA members. It aims to provide the opportunity for personal growth and premier leadership by enhancing the speaking skills of participants. The event also encourages civic participation and cultivates a better knowledge of agriculture among participants.
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Parliamentary Procedure – Novice LDE
Overview: The Novice Parliamentary Procedure Leadership Development Event is designed to introduce ninth grade FFA members to parliamentary procedure as they learn how to conduct efficient meetings and build their communication skills. 
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Parliamentary Procedure – Senior LDE
Overview: Students participating in the Parliamentary Procedure Leadership Development Event (LDE) are evaluated on their ability to conduct an orderly and efficient meeting using parliamentary procedure.
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Prepared Public Speaking LDE
Overview: During the Prepared Public Speaking Leadership Development Event (LDE), students write and deliver a six to eight-minute speech about a current agriculture-related topic.
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Quiz Bowl LDE
Overview: The Quiz Bowl Leadership Development Event is designed to better acquaint FFA members in knowing key information about the FFA organization and the industry of agriculture.
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Ritual Demonstration LDE
Overview: The Novice Parliamentary Procedure Leadership Development Event is designed to introduce ninth grade FFA members to parliamentary procedure as they learn how to conduct efficient meetings and build their communication skills. 
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