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.
FFA Members may only compete in one team LDE, one individual LDE, one team CDE and any invitational CDEs during the Minnesota Convention.
Career & Leadership Development Events
Click on the event title for more detailed information, or watch videos about each CDE in the National FFA CDE Video Library.
Career Development Events
Ag Communications - The Agricultural Communications CDE prepares students for careers in journalism, radio and television broadcast, web design, marketing, and more.
Ag Sales - In the Agricultural Sales CDE, students demonstrate skills in customer relations, advertising and promotion, and merchandise displays.
Agricultural Mechanics - This CDE helps students develop their technical skills and knowledge and their ability to work with others to solve complex problems.
Companion Animal Science - This event is designed to assess student knowledge, application, analytical, and evaluation abilities, in the area of companion animal care, veterinary skills, and pet store management. Students advance to the National competition in the Veterinary Science CDE.
Crops - Members compete in areas including plant and seed identification, grain grading, a management test, and practicums in various crop areas including soils, insects, seed analysis, pesticides, fertilizer, and varietal trials.
Dairy Evaluation - Members complete a written exam relating to the dairy industry, evaluate dairy cattle on physical characteristics, and give oral reasons explaining their place of a class.
Dairy Handlers Activity - Through participation in the Dairy Cattle Handlers Activity, students learn to work with others in a way that is cooperative, courteous, and helpful.
Farm Business Management - Members demonstrate knowledge and abilities in applying economic principles to agriculture and agribusiness by completing a written test and solving farm analysis problems.
Fish & Wildlife - This CDE consists of the identification of twelve specimens in each of four groups: insects, birds, mammals, and fish. There is also a written test of 15 questions on each of the four groups and a team activity. Students advance to the National competition in the Environment and Natural Resources CDE.
Floriculture - Members demonstrate proficiency in plant identification, judging plants and arrangements, and skills that include either constructing a bud vase, corsage or floral arrangement. A written exam is also a part of the event.
Food Science & Technology - The Food Science & Technology CDE requires students to have an in-depth understanding of food product development and presentation and food safety issues. Participants use their sensory skills to solve problems and make sound decisions.
Forestry - Members demonstrate knowledge through a written exam of basic forestry principles, tree, and equipment identification, and demonstration of practical forestry skills, such as forest disorders, forest management, inventory, and approved silviculture practices.
Horse Evaluation - Student contestants evaluate halter classes which include Quarter Horse, Conformation Hunter, Appaloosa, Arabian, Paint, and Morgan; or they evaluate performance classes which may include Western Pleasure, Western Riding (Pattern One), reining, English Pleasure (Saddle Seat), Hunter Under Saddle (Hunt Seat), and Hunter Hack. Members give oral reasons explaining their placing of specific classes.
Livestock Evaluation - Members evaluate beef cattle, sheep, and swine on physical characteristics and records for market and breeding usage. Members give oral reasons explaining their placing of certain classes.
Marketing Plan - Members develop practical skills in the marketing process through the development and presentation of a plan that promotes a current or proposed agricultural product, supply or service.
Meats Evaluation & Technology - Members complete a written test, judge quality yield and grade of beef carcasses, and evaluate and place beef, lamb and pork carcasses. Students also identify various cuts of meat in relation to species, primal and retail cuts.
Milk Quality & Products - Members complete a written exam on milk production and marketing, evaluate milk samples for flavor and quality, identify cheeses, evaluate sediment pads and milker parts for defects, demonstrate problem-solving skills in distinguishing real and artificial dairy foods, merchandising dairy foods, and current issues in marketing dairy foods.
Nursery/Landscape - Members complete a written exam, identify various nursery plants, judge plant materials and landscape plans, and complete practicums in the landscaping area.
Poultry Evaluation - Teams consisting of four individuals evaluate and select live meat chickens and live egg hens. They also evaluate and grade ready-to-cook carcasses and parts of chickens and turkeys, eggs, and further processed poultry products. They identify poultry parts, complete a written exam on poultry production and management, and perform a team activity related to poultry science.
Soils - This Minnesota-only CDE consists of judging three land areas, either pits or soil borings.
Leadership Development Events
Agricultural Issues - Participants in the Agricultural Issues Forum LDE research the pros and cons of an agricultural issue and present their findings and theories to a panel of judges. The event helps students to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and formal communication skills.
Conduct of Chapter Meetings - The Conduct of Chapter Meetings Leadership Development Event is designed to introduce 7th, 8th, and 9th grade FFA members to parliamentary procedure and how to conduct an efficient meeting.
Creed Speaking - The Creed Speaking LDE is for FFA members in grades seventh, eighth, and ninth. They must present the FFA Creed from memory and answer questions about its meaning and purpose. The event boosts self-confidence and develops their ability to communicate in a powerful, professional manner.
Employment Skills - Participants in the Employment Skills LDE submit a resume, complete job applications, and participate in mock interviews and practicums with a panel of possible employers.
Extemporaneous Speaking - Student contestants will have 30 minutes to prepare and deliver on a topic drawn from several possible subjects related to agriculture. Judging is based on the quality and delivery of the speech and the ability to answer questions from the judges.
Parliamentary Procedure - In this LDE, members complete a written examination and then demonstrate their proficiency at using the correct parliamentary procedure in conducting meetings. Contestants discuss chapter events during their mock meeting.
Prepared Public Speaking - Student contestants write and deliver a six to eight minute speech related to agriculture. Speakers are judged on content and composition, delivery of the speech, and their ability to answer questions from the judges.
State Invitational Events (Non-CDE/LDE)
Best Informed Greenhand - The purpose of this event is to provide an opportunity for new FFA members to compete with those from other chapters in regard to their basic knowledge of FFA. A written test consisting of 100 multiple choice questions will be taken from the current Official FFA Manual.
Farm Bureau Discussion Meet - Minnesota Farm Bureau hosts a Discussion Meet for FFA members to discuss agriculture and agricultural education issues.
Talent - This event is designed to develop individual or group talent.