Career opportunities abound within today’s agribusiness and agriscience industry.  The Florida FFA Association offers 30 Career & Leadership Development Events that cover job skills in everything from communications to mechanics while helping students develop the abilities to think clearly, communicate clearly, and perform effectively in a competitive real-world environment.  Whether you enjoy public speaking or creating new and improved food items, competing as part of a team or as an individual, there is a CDE/LDE tailored to the interests of each and every FFA member.

The primary goal of career & leadership development events is to develop individual responsibilities, foster teamwork and promote communication while recognizing the value of ethical competition and individual achievement.  Career & leadership development events should reflect instruction that currently takes place in the entire agricultural education program, including classroom instruction, laboratory instruction and student’s supervised agricultural experiences.  CDEs & LDEs are intended to be an outgrowth of instruction.

High School Event Guidelines & Resources

EVENT PURPOSE HIGHLIGHTS
Agricultural Communications

Agribusiness Systems Career Pathway
High School, Team (3 Members)

Rules
REGISTER

The purpose of the Agricultural Communications Career Development Event is to provide individuals with practical communications skills necessary to pursue career opportunities in agricultural communications. Public communications about agricultural products, practices and policies are essential to the future of agriculture. Students who are equipped with strong communication skills, have developed teamwork skills and who can use a variety of media to help the public understand issues related to the industry of agriculture have a bright future in the job market.

 

Event Highlights: develop and present an agriculture-related media plan

 

Agricultural Education

Agribusiness Systems Career Pathway
High School, Individual

Rules
The purpose of the Agricultural Education Career Development Event is to provide individuals with basic skills necessary for a career as an agricultural educator. Teaching agriculture involves teaching students about applications of science, management, leadership, and technology in the food, fiber, natural resource industry. Teaching methods emphasize hands on approaches where application of skills and knowledge is central to lesson presentations. Agricultural Education strives to make learning enjoyable, meaningful and lasting. Agriculture Education incorporates classroom and laboratory instruction, supervised agricultural experiences (SAE), and the FFA to allow for the personal development of students both inside and outside the classroom to better prepare them for success in life.

 

Event Highlights: create and demonstrate an agriculture lesson plan

 

Agricultural Issues Forum

Agribusiness Systems Career Pathway
High School, Team (3-7 Members)

Rules

The Agricultural Issues Career Development Event is designed to provide an opportunity to expose a wide variety of students to the selection, research, planning and presentation of an agricultural issue, acquire knowledge and skills in community leadership for present and future use and become knowledgeable of, and familiar with a variety of local, state, national and international issues facing agriculture.

 

Event Highlights: Develop agricultural issue portfolio and agricultural issue presentation

 

Agricultural Sales

Agribusiness Systems Career Pathway
High School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules

The purpose of the Agricultural Sales Career Development Event is to evaluate skills that are essential for an individual to be successful in the agricultural sales field. The process of selling agricultural products is essential for production and marketing of agricultural products.

 

Event Highlights: Participate in an team and individual sales activity based on provided product information

 

Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems

Power, Structural and Technical Systems Career Pathway
High School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

This event is designed to stimulate learning in the five areas of the agricultural mechanics industry:  machinery and equipment systems, electrical systems, energy systems, structural systems and environmental and natural resource systems.

 

Event Highlights: complete hands-on practicums including but not limited to electrical wiring, measuring materials, welding & cutting, engine components, etc.

 

Aquaculture

Animal Systems Career Pathway
High School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

The purpose of the Aquaculture Career Development Event (CDE) is to stimulate student interest in the aquaculture industry, encourage aquaculture instruction in the agricultural education curriculum, and to provide recognition for those who have demonstrated skills and competencies in the area of aquaculture management.  Florida has a unique and diverse aquaculture industry which includes the culture of tropical ornamental fish, aquatic plants, clams, shrimp, alligators, tilapia, catfish, live rock, and other assorted aquatic animals.

 

Event Highlights: Present a team presentation based on a given aquaculture topic, identify aquatic species, analyze water quality, design & troubleshoot aquatic systems, and identify & treat aquatic disease, pests & predators

 

Citrus

Plant Systems Career Pathway
High School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER
LUNCH RSVP

The Citrus Career Development Event stimulates learning activities to the production and management of citrus fruit.

 

Event Highlights: identify various citrus diseases/disorders, pests, pathogens, parasites & predators, common weeds and citrus rootstocks, leaves & fruit

 

Conduct of Chapter Meetings

Agribusiness Systems Career Pathway
High School/Middle School (grades 7-9), Team (7 Members)

Rules
Resources

 

To introduce seventh, eighth and ninth grade FFA members to parliamentary procedure while learning how to conduct e cient meetings and build their communication skills.

 

Event Highlights: perform an ability of parliamentary procedure, perform opening/closing ceremonies, written exam and oral questions

 

Creed Speaking

Agribusiness Systems Career Pathway
High School/Middle School (grades 6-9), Individual

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

 

The Creed Speaking Career Development Event develops the public speaking abilities of FFA members as well as develop their self confidence and contribute to their advancement in the FFA degree program.

 

Event Highlights: recite the FFA Creed and answer questions regarding its impact and history

 

Dairy Cattle Evaluation & Management

Animal Systems Career Pathway
High School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

The purpose of the Dairy CDE is to provide a competitive event for agricultural education students, emphasizing skills in dairy cattle evaluation, selection and dairy herd management.

 

Event Highlights: evaluate dairy cattle, read and interpret dairy cattle herd records

 

Employment Skills

Agribusiness Systems Career Pathway
High School, Individual

Rules
Resources

 

The Employability Skills 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 “real world” activities that will be used by real world employers.

 

Event Highlights: Complete a job application, develop a cover letter & resume, participate in a telephone & personal interview and write a follow-up letter

 

Environmental Science & Natural Resources

Natural Resource Systems Career Pathway
High School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

 

 

Environmental and natural resource education has a responsibility to ensure an educated public and provide students prepared to enter careers in the environmental and natural resource industry. The purpose of the environmental and natural resource career development event is to stimulate student interest and to promote environmental and natural resource instruction in the agricultural education curriculum and to provide recognition for those who have demonstrated skills and competencies as a result of environmental and natural resource instruction.

 

Event Highlights: present a team presentation on about a given environmental/natural resource problem, identify common plants, wildlife, reptiles/amphibians, fish and more, analyze water quality, complete a soil nutrient test,and determine locations through the use of GPS

 

Extemporaneous Public Speaking

Agribusiness Systems Career Pathway
High School, Individual

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

 

The Extemporaneous Public Speaking Career 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, therefore causing FFA members to formulate their remarks for presentation in a very limited amount of time.

 

Event Highlights: develop a 4-6 minute speech on a randomly selected agricultural topic within the 30 minute time limit and present the speech to a panel of judges

 

Farm & Agribusiness Management

Agribusiness Systems Career Pathway
High School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources

This event provides competition that fosters information assimilation, critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to successfully manage a farm or pursue farm business management careers. The Farm & Agribusiness Management Career Development Event enhances and encourages opportunities for all participants to receive instruction that develops farm business management skills.

 

Event Highlights: complete a written exam based on problematic situations including a problem solving analysis section

 

Floriculture

Plant Systems Career Pathway
High School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

The Floriculture CDE stimulates interest in learning activities related to the Floriculture industry, including the identification of plants, business situations and safety issues.

 

Event Highlights: Identify common floriculture plants, participate in a hands-on floriculture live practicum, price floriculture products and properly handling common customer complaints

 

Food Science & Technology

Food Products and Processing Career Pathway
High School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

This event is designed to promote learning activities in food science and technology related to the food industry and to assist students in developing practical knowledge of principles used in a team decision-making process.

 

Event Highlights:

develop and market a new or redesigned food product as a team, complete a food triangle test, identify aromas, address food safety and quality through customer inquiries

 

Forestry

Natural Resource Systems Career Pathway
High School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules

The purpose of the Forestry CDE is to stimulate student interest in forestry, to promote forestry instruction in the agricultural education curriculum, and to provide recognition for those who have demonstrated skill and competency as a result of forestry instruction.

 

Event Highlights: identify tree species, forest equipment & disorders, evaluate timber to determine wood volume, interpret topographical maps, and complete a compass and pacing practicum

 

Horse Evaluation

Animal Systems Career Pathway
High School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

The Horse Evaluation and Selection Career Development Event is designed to stimulate the study of and interest in, equine science selection while providing recognition for those who have demonstrated skill and competency in this area.

 

Event Highlights: evaluate halter and performance classes of horses and defend your placings through oral reasons

 

Land Evaluation

Natural Resource Systems Career Pathway
High School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
REGISTER

The Land Evaluation CDE is designed to stimulate learning activities related to soils and their best use.

 

Event Highlights: Evaluate soil pits and complete a homesite evaluation

 

Livestock Evaluation

Animal Systems Career Pathway
High School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

 

 

The Livestock Evaluation Career Development Event stimulates learning activities related to the production and marketing of cattle, sheep and swine.

 

Event Highlights: evaluate classes of market & breeding cattle, swine, sheep & goats, and defend your placings through oral reasons

 

Meats Evaluation

Animal Systems Career Pathway
High School, Team (3 Members)

Rules
REGISTER

The Meats Evaluation Career Development Event is designed to stimulate learning activities related to the processing of beef, pork and lamb carcasses, including retail cut identification and factors affecting meat quality.

 

Event Highlights: Identify retail cuts of beef, pork & lamb, evaluate classes or retail cuts, beef & pork carcasses, wholesale cuts and determine beef quality & yield grades

 

Nursery & Landscape

Plant Systems Career Pathway
High School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

The Nursery and Landscape Career Development Event is designed to stimulate learning activities related to nursery practices and landscaping including the identification of plants, insects, and diseases.

 

Event Highlights: Identify common nursery plants, pests & tools, interpret landscape plans, evaluate landscaping jobs, identify and control plant disorders and perform equipment maintenance

 

Ornamental Horticulture Demonstration

Plant Systems Career Pathway
High School, Individual or Team (2 Members)

Rules
Results Submission

The Ornamental Horticulture Demonstration Contests are designed to stimulate careful planning, thorough knowledge and the ability to explain, by work and action, the “how and why” of various horticulture practices.

 

Event Highlights: develop and present a 7-10 minute presentation about various areas of the ornamental horticulture industry

 

Parliamentary Procedure

Agribusiness Systems Career Pathway
High School, Team (6 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

The purpose of the Parliamentary Procedure CDE is to encourage students to learn to effectively participate in a business meeting and to assist in the development of their leadership skills.

 

Event Highlights: conduct a portion of a business meeting using correct parliamentary law

 

Poultry Evaluation

Animal Systems Career Pathway
High School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
REGISTER

The Poultry Career Development Event stimulates learning related to the production, processing, marketing and consumption of poultry products.

 

Event Highlights: evaluate live birds, grade ready to cook broilers, grades for interior & exterior quality, identify poultry carcass parts

 

Prepared Public Speaking

Agribusiness Systems Career Pathway
High School, Individual

Rules
REGISTER

The Prepared Public Speaking Career Development Event is designed to develop agricultural leadership by providing for member participation in agricultural public speaking activities and stimulating interest in leadership and citizenship.

 

Event Highlights: develop a 6-8 minute speech about an agricultural topic of your choice and present the speech to a panel of judges

 

Safe Tractor Operation & Maintenance

Power, Structural and Technical Systems Career Pathway
High School, Individual

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

The Safe Tractor Operation and Maintenance Contest is designed to develop the ability of all FFA members to demonstrate the knowledge and ability as related to the maintenance and safe operation skills of tractors.

 

Event Highlights: demonstrate a knowledge of safe tractor operations and demonstrate the ability to drive a tractor and attached implement through a predetermined course

 

Vegetable Evaluation

Plant Systems Career Pathway
High School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources

The Vegetable Evaluation  event is designed to test skills and knowledge of students in the area of vegetable production and management.

 

Event Highlights: evaluate classes of vegetables, identify kinds & varieties of vegetables, insects, diseases, weeds and seeds

 

Veterinary Science

Animal Systems Career Pathway
High School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

The purpose of the veterinary science CDE is to provide students with an opportunity to develop and demonstrate knowledge and skills for both companion animal and livestock within the veterinary industry.

 

Event Highlights: identify breeds of livestock & companion animals, equipment & instruments preform common veterinarian skills including: applying/removing a gauze restraint muzzle, wrapping a surgical gown, canine cardiopulmonary resuscitation and preparing an animal for surgery

 

Middle School Event Guidelines & Resources

EVENT PURPOSE HIGHLIGHTS
Aquaculture

Middle School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

The purpose of the Aquaculture Career Development Event (CDE) is to stimulate student interest in the aquaculture industry, encourage aquaculture instruction in the agricultural education curriculum, and to provide recognition for those who have demonstrated skills and competencies in the area of aquaculture management.  Florida has a unique and diverse aquaculture industry which includes the culture of tropical ornamental fish, aquatic plants, clams, shrimp, alligators, tilapia, catfish, live rock, and other assorted aquatic animals.

 

Event Highlights: Present a team presentation based on a given aquaculture topic, identify aquatic species, analyze water quality, design & troubleshoot aquatic systems, and identify & treat aquatic disease, pests & predators

 

Citrus

Middle School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER
LUNCH RSVP

The Citrus Career Development Event stimulates learning activities to the production and management of citrus fruit.

 

Event Highlights: identify various citrus diseases/disorders, pests, pathogens, parasites & predators, common weeds and citrus rootstocks, leaves & fruit

 

Conduct of Chapter Meetings

Agribusiness Systems Career Pathway
High School/Middle School (grades 7-9), Team (7 Members)

Rules
Resources

 

To introduce seventh, eighth and ninth grade FFA members to parliamentary procedure while learning how to conduct e cient meetings and build their communication skills.

 

Event Highlights: perform an ability of parliamentary procedure, perform opening/closing ceremonies, written exam and oral questions

 

Creed Speaking

High School/Middle School (grades 6-9), Individual

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

 

The Creed Speaking Career Development Event develops the public speaking abilities of FFA members as well as develop their self confidence and contribute to their advancement in the FFA degree program.

 

Event Highlights: recite the FFA Creed and answer questions regarding its impact and history

 

Dairy Cattle Evaluation & Management

Middle School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

The purpose of the Dairy CDE is to provide a competitive event for agricultural education students, emphasizing skills in dairy cattle evaluation, selection and dairy herd management.

 

Event Highlights: evaluate dairy cattle, read and interpret dairy cattle herd records

 

Extemporaneous Public Speaking

Middle School, Individual

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

The Extemporaneous Public Speaking Career 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, therefore causing FFA members to formulate their remarks for presentation in a very limited amount of time.

 

Event Highlights: develop a 3-5 minute speech on a randomly selected agricultural topic within the 30 minute time limit and present the speech to a panel of judges

 

Floriculture

Middle School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

The Floriculture CDE stimulates interest in learning activities related to the Floriculture industry, including the identification of plants, business situations and safety issues.

 

Event Highlights: Identify common floriculture plants, participate in a hands-on floriculture live practicum, price floriculture products and properly handling common customer complaints

 

Food Science & Technology

Middle School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

The Food Science and Technology CDE is designed to promote learning activities in food science and technology related to the food industry and to assist students in developing practical knowledge of principles used in a team decision-making process.

 

Event Highlights: develop and market a new or redesigned food product as a team, complete a food triangle test, identify aromas, address food safety and quality through customer inquiries

 

Forestry

Middle School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules

The purpose of the Forestry CDE is to stimulate student interest in forestry, to promote forestry instruction in the agricultural education curriculum, and to provide recognition for those who have demonstrated skill and competency as a result of forestry instruction.

 

Event Highlights: identify tree species, forest equipment & disorders, evaluate timber to determine wood volume, interpret topographical maps, and complete a compass and pacing practicum

 

Horse Evaluation

Middle School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

The Horse Evaluation and Selection Career Development Event is designed to stimulate the study of and interest in, equine science selection while providing recognition for those who have demonstrated skill and competency in this area.

 

Event Highlights: evaluate halter classes of horses and complete a skilathon based various aspects of the equine industry

 

Land Evaluation

Middle School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
REGISTER

The Land Judging CDE is designed to stimulate learning activities related to soils and their best use.

 

Event Highlights: Evaluate soil pits and complete a homesite evaluation

 

Livestock Evaluation

Middle School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

The Livestock Evaluation and Selection Career Development Event stimulates learning activities related to the production and marketing of cattle, sheep and swine.

 

Event Highlights: evaluate classes of market & breeding cattle, swine, sheep & goats, and complete a skillathon based on the beef & swine industries

 

Meats Evaluation

Middle School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

The Meats Evaluation Career Development Event is designed to stimulate learning activities related to the processing of beef, pork and lamb carcasses, including retail cut identification and factors affecting meat quality.

 

Event Highlights: Identify retail cuts of beef, pork & lamb and evaluate classes or retail cuts

 

Nursery & Landscape

Middle School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

The Nursery and Landscape Career Development Event is designed to stimulate learning activities related to nursery practices and landscaping including the identification of plants, insects, and diseases.

 

Event Highlights: Identify common nursery plants, pests & tools, interpret landscape plans, evaluate landscaping jobs, identify and control plant disorders and perform equipment maintenance

 

Ornamental Horticulture Demonstration

Middle School, Individual or Team (2 Members)

Rules
Results Submission

The Ornamental Horticulture Demonstration Contests are designed to stimulate careful planning, thorough knowledge and the ability to explain, by work and action, the “how and why” of various horticulture practices.

 

Event Highlights: develop and present a 7-10 minute presentation about various areas of the ornamental horticulture industry

 

Opening and Closing Ceremonies

Middle School, Team (7 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

The Opening and Closing Ceremony CDE is designed to develop agricultural leadership by providing for middle school members participation in public speaking activities and stimulating interest in leadership and citizenship.

 

Event Highlights: memorize and perform the official FFA Opening & Closing Ceremonies

 

Parliamentary Procedure

Middle School, Team (6 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER

The purpose of the Parliamentary Procedure CDE is to encourage students to learn to effectively participate in a business meeting and to assist in the development of their leadership skills.

 

Event Highlights: conduct a portion of a business meeting using correct parliamentary law

 

Poultry Evaluation

Middle School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
REGISTER

The Poultry Career Development Event stimulates learning related to the production, processing, marketing and consumption of poultry products.

 

Event Highlights: evaluate live birds, grade ready to cook broilers, grades for interior & exterior quality, identify poultry carcass parts

 

Prepared Public Speaking

Middle School, Individual

Rules
REGISTER

The Prepared Public Speaking Career Development Event is designed to develop agricultural leadership by providing for member participation in agricultural public speaking activities and stimulating interest in leadership and citizenship.

 

Event Highlights: develop a 4-6 minute speech about an agricultural topic of your choice and present the speech to a panel of judges

 

Tool Identification

Middle School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources
REGISTER
LUNCH RSVP

The Tool Identification Event is designed to develop the ability to correctly identify the names and uses of a variety of tools common to the Agricultural Education Curriculum.

 

Event Highlights: identify common agricultural tools and their uses

 

Vegetable Evaluation

Middle School, Team (3-4 Members)

Rules
Resources

The Vegetable Identification and Judging event is designed to test skills and knowledge of students in the area of vegetable production and management.

 

Event Highlights: evaluate classes of vegetables, identify kinds & varieties of vegetables, insects, diseases, weeds and seeds