CDE Resource Center

What is a CDE?

CDE stands for Career Development Event. Career opportunities abound within today’s agriculture industry. CDEs help students develop the abilities to think critically, communicate clearly, and perform effectively in a competitive job market. There are 24 CDEs, covering job skills in everything from communications to mechanics. Some events allow students to compete as individuals, while others allow them to compete in teams.

Below you will find basic information about the CDEs that our chapter participates in. For more information, check out the CDE Handbook or talk to your FFA advisor about how you can get involved in the CDE programs.

Our CDE Teams

Agricultural Communications

The three-member Agricultural Communications CDE team is challenged in all areas of the agricultural communications field. Participants attend a press conference, utilize information gathered in a team activity and complete individual practicums in design, electronic media and writing. Students are also tested on editing and other communications skills.  2012-2016 Ag. Comm. Handbook

Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems

The participants in the Agricultural Technology & Mechanical Systems CDE take a written test and demonstrate their skills through hands-on activities in the following system areas: machinery and equipment systems, electrical systems, energy systems, environmental and natural resources systems and structural systems.  2012-2016 Ag. Tech & Mech Sys. Handbook


The agronomy CDE participants will compete in all facets of the agronomic industry, from crop and weed identification to integrated pest management. Skills in soil identification and analysis as well as the ability to make sound managerial decisions are put to the test. Students are challenged to work individually and with their team during the day-and-a-half event.  2012-2016 Agronomy Handbook

Creed Speaking

The Creed Speaking CDE is designed solely for members who qualified while in the seventh, eighth or ninth grade. The outstanding FFA members are recognized for their ability to memorize and present the FFA Creed then answer questions on the meaning and purpose of the Creed.  2012-2016 Creed Speaking Handbook



Dairy Cattle Evaluation and Management

Dairy Cattle Evaluation & Management CDE members put the skills learned in their high school agricultural education classes to use in a practical manner.  Participants evaluate multiple classes of dairy cattle and present oral reasons for their selections. Teams work together to develop a comprehensive management plan for a farm described in a given scenario.  2012-2016 Dairy Cattle Eval. & Management Handbook

Dairy Cattle Handlers’ Activity

Members put the skills learned in their high school agricultural education classes to use in a practical manner.  Participants evaluate multiple classes of dairy cattle and present oral reasons for their selections. Teams work together to develop a comprehensive management plan for a farm described in a given scenario.  2012-2016 Dairy Cattle Handling Activity Handbook

Environmental and Natural Resources

This event includes individual and team activities where participants complete interviews concerning global and national issues, complete writing exercises and locate strategic points using global positioning systems. Members also complete soil tests, evaluate soil profiles, as well as conduct air and water analysis.  description here.  2012-2016 Environ. & Natural Res. Handbook

Extemporaneous Public Speaking

Event participants are given 30 minutes to prepare a speech on a general agricultural topic. The speech must be four to six minutes in length. At the conclusion of the speech, the judges may question the speaker for five minutes.  Finalists are selected based on speech delivery, content and responses to the questions. National participants will advance through preliminary and semifinal rounds with the top four speakers competing in the final national event.  2012-2016 Extemp. Public Speaking Handbook


Farm Business Management

Participants respond to questions concerning economic principles in farm business management as well as a problem-solving analysis section. This event enables members to apply the skills they have learned in challenging real-life situations.  2012-2016 Farm Business Management Handbook


Students must identify plants, make pertinent decisions in solving day-to-day problems that occur in any part of the business and complete an exam tests their general knowledge. Skill activities, such as flower arranging and corsage design, allow students to showcase their knowledge and talent.  2012-2016 Floriculture Handbook

Food Science and Technology

Participants take an objective test, design and formulate or reformulate a simulated food product, practice quality assurance principles, conduct a sensory analysis and apply food safety and sanitation principles.  2012-2016 Food Science & Tech. Handbook


The national forestry event measures FFA members’ knowledge of forestry and wood products management issues. Questions on tree and equipment identification, a general knowledge exam and interactive forestry applications are just a few of the methods used to measure participants’ abilities.  2012-2016 Forestry Handbook



Horse Evaluation

Members demonstrate their ability to reason and communicate about equine science through a team problem-solving activity and individually evaluating classes composed of performance or halter horses. They then justify their selections through oral reasons.  2012-2016 Horse Eval. Handbook

Job Interview

The event is designed to recognize outstanding FFA members for their ability to prepare and interview for real-world employment opportunities. Part of the preparation includes creating a cover letter, resume and completing a job application.  Participants also show their ability to think on their feet through a networking activity.  2012-2016 Job Interview Handbook

Livestock Evaluation

Participants evaluate classes of breeding and market beef, sheep, swine and goats according to the latest USDA market grades and cutability. They then provide oral reasons for their selections. Team members also collaborate on various team activities.  2012-2016 Livestock Eval. Handbook

Marketing Plan

Prior to attending the national event, teams research and develop a marketing plan for an agricultural product, supply or service.  The teams then present their solution for marketing problems to a panel of public relations advertising and marketing professionals. The FFA members are evaluated on the various parts of the marketing plan, including market analysis, business proposition, action plan, budget management, evaluation and the effectiveness of their presentation.  2012-2016 Marketing Plan Handbook



Meats Evaluation and Technology

FFA members take a written exam that tests their knowledge of meat selection, storage, cooking, nutrition and safety. Members will identify cuts of beef, pork or lamb by retail trade name and prime cut identification. Participants become not only better agriculturalists but also better consumers.t description here.  2012-2016 Meat Eval. & Tech. Handbook

Milk Quality and Products

Participants test milk samples for flavor, taste cheese samples as well as identify cheese characteristics. Members evaluate milk samples using the California Mastitis test. Finally, the participant’s knowledge of milk production and marketing is assessed by a written exam.  2012-2016 Milk Quality & Products Handbook


The nursery and landscape event tests participants by having them identify plant specimens according to their technical and common names, select nursery plant material and take a multiple-choice exam. The FFA members also perform hands-on activities that range from landscape estimating to interpersonal relations to nursery operation practices.  2012-2016 Nursery/Landscape Handbook

Parliamentary Procedure

Participants demonstrate their abilities to conduct orderly and efficient meetings, present logical and convincing discussions and properly record meeting procedures. Each team must take a written exam, conduct a ten-minute demonstration, respond verbally to parliamentary law questions and prepare minutes from their demonstration.  2012-2016 Parli. Pro. Handbook



Members evaluate production, processing and merchandising phases of the poultry industry as well as identify various industry components. They are also tested on the application of sound management practices. Participants evaluate live birds, present oral reasons and place a class of ready-to-cook broilers. In the processing and merchandising phase of the event, members select and grade ready-to-cook turkeys, processed products and cartons of eggs.  2012-2016 Poultry Handbook

Prepared Public Speaking

Event participants are required to deliver a prepared speech on one agricultural topic. The speech must be six to eight minutes in length. Judges question the speaker for five minutes after the speech is given.  Winners are selected on the written manuscript, speech delivery, content and response to judges’ questions. National participants will advance through preliminary and semifinal rounds, with the top four speakers competing in the final round of the national event.  2012-2016 Prepared Public Speaking Handbook

Veterinary Science

Event participants will have their veterinary science knowledge tested in the written exam as well as in the breed, equipment and parasite identification. Members also demonstrate hands-on skills in the clinical and handling/restraining practicums. This event allows participants to utilize high level knowledge in math and science.  2012-2016 Veterinary Science Handbook