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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.

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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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 requires students to identify plants, judge flower arrangements and solve problems.
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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. Students participating in this CDE make accurate and logical observations of livestock, decide on the desirable traits in marketing…
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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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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. The competition will bring 4-6 FFA members to the table at a time to discuss an assigned topic for 15 minutes.
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Employment Skills LDE
Overview: The Kansas FFA Employment Skills Leadership Development Event is designed for FFA members to develop, practice, and demonstrate skills needed in seeking employment in the agricultural industry. Each part of the event simulates, as closely as possible, real-world activities that will be used by real-world employers.
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Extemporaneous Public Speaking LDE
Overview: The State FFA Extemporaneous Public Speaking Leadership Development Event is designed to develop the ability of all FFA members to express themselves on a given subject without having prepared or rehearsed its content in advance. This event gives FFA members an opportunity to formulate their remarks for presentation in a very limited amount of time. The event will be held in connection with the State FFA Convention.
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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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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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