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Competitive Events
About CDEs & LDEs: "Will I ever use this in the real world?"      
Since 1928, FFA has worked to create CDEs & LDE's that demonstrate the meaningful connections between classroom instruction and real-life scenarios. CDEs & LDE's 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 & LDE's test the abilities of individuals and teams in 23 major areas of agricultural instruction.

NameDate AddedSize
CDE-LDE Chairs 5/6/2019 246 KB
2017-2021 National CDE Regulations 7/5/2016 19294 KB

Agricultural Communications      
This CDE is your chance to be challenged in all areas of the agricultural communications field. At the event competition, members participate in a simulated news conference, then use the information collected to complete practical problems including: writing a news story and press release, preparing a radio broadcast and developing a graphic design. Participants also complete a written communications quiz and an editing exercise. Finally, each team must develop a communications proposal and presentation.

Ag Issues Forum      
This LDE begins by developing a presentation about an agricultural issue, based on criteria outlined in the LDE Handbook. From the start, member teams develop a portfolio and deliver a presentation that stresses both pros and cons of an agricultural issue. At the event competition, you use verbal skills and presentation abilities to defend your findings and answer judges’ questions.

Agricultural Sales      
Sponsored by: BG Brookside Sales

The FFA Ag Sales Career Development Event introduces students to the potential of ag sales as a career and to prepare better future consumers.  The Agricultural Sales Career Development Event provides the opportunity for students to:
  • Develop verbal, written and interactive communication skills.
  • Identify potential customer needs and wants and match them to the product features and benefits.
  • Develop active listening skill

In this CDE, you and your team will demonstrate the professional sales process for the designated PA FFA agricultural sales product which is announced in August.  At the competition, members complete a 30 question sales knowledge test (based on the National FFA website posted National FFA Ag Sales test from previous years), simulate a sales team meeting and make a sales call.

Ag Technology & Mechanical Systems      
Sponsored by: BG Brookside Sales

This CDE tests both technical and agricultural mechanics skills and your ability to work with others while solving problems. During the event, members complete a written exam and demonstrate problem-solving and hands-on performance skills. The event takes a “systems” approach and emphasizes machinery and equipment systems, related industry and marketing systems, energy systems, structural systems and environmental/natural resource systems.

Sponsored by: Pennsylvania Soybean Board

Choose this CDE to build and prove your skills in agronomic sciences. Participants complete a 50-question written exam; identify seeds, insects, soils and crops; demonstrate knowledge of agronomic management and solve a practical problem.


Participate in this CDE to grow your skills in aquatic resource management. At the competition, members complete a written exam, identify fish, reptiles and amphibians, birds and mammals, equipment, Aquatic plants and aquatic insects. They also demonstrate their skills in completing three of the following practicums: Biotic Index, Stream Flow, water testing, Determining watershed boundaries, pond management and / or GPS activity.

Conduct of Chapter Meetings      
Sponsored by: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and The Pennsylvania FFA Foundation 

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

Creed Speaking      
Sponsored by: Folk's Butterfly Farm

This LDE is the first national event specifically for FFA members in grades 7, 8, and 9. It's your chance to prove your ability to present the FFA Creed from memory and to answer questions about its meaning and purpose. The event is just one way to boost self confidence, earn recognition, and develop your ability to communicate in a powerful, organized and professional manner.

Dairy Showmanship      
Sponsored by PA Dairymen's Association

The purpose of the Pennsylvania FFA Dairy Cattle Handling Leadership Development Event is to recognize the contributions of the handlers in presenting each animal to its best advantage to a showmanship judge as well as to students competing and evaluating dairy cows and heifers during the Pennsylvania FFA Dairy Cattle Management and Evaluation Career Development Event.

Dairy Cattle Evaluation & Management      
Sponsored by: PA Dairymen's Association

Get involved in this CDE to improve your skills in dairy cattle selection and herd management. At the competition, members complete a written exam, evaluate dairy cattle on physical characteristics and give oral reasons explaining their various classes. Team members also cooperatively analyze a herd record.

Employment Skills      
Sponsored by: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania FFA Foundation 

Choose this event to polish your skills in landing a job and launching your career. At the competition, each member submits a resume, completes a job application and participates in an interview via telephone, in person one – on - one and with a panel of possible employers.

Environmental & Natural Resources      
Sponsored by: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania FFA Foundation

Participate in this CDE to improve your skills in addressing environmental and natural resource issues. Individual and team activities at the competition include a national/global issues interview and cover press release writing, environmental/natural resources problem solving, soil tests and profiles, air/water analysis, GPS use, waste management, identification and ecological successions.

Extemporaneous Public Speaking      
Sponsored by: Pennsylvania Association of  Agriculture Educators and AgChoice Farm Credit, MidAtlantic Farm Credit

In this LDE, you deliver a speech on one of three agricultural topics after 30 minutes of preparation. It’s great practice to learn how to think on your feet and make your case quickly and persuasively. After each speech, judges may ask related questions.

Farm and Agribusiness Management      
Sponsored by: AgChoice Farm Credit and MidAtlantic Farm Credit

Choose this CDE if you want to build overall management skills and apply economic principles to agriculture and agribusiness. At the competition, members complete a written exam and solve farm analysis problems.

FFA Knowledge      
Sponsored by: Pennsylvania FFA Alumni

In this CDE first year members in 7th, 8th or 9th grade can test there knowledge about basic facts of the FFA, such as history, who's who, and degrees, just to name a few. You will complete a written test and participate in a Jeopardy round with your team. 

Sponsored by: Dillon Floral 

This CDE builds your knowledge and skills in arranging, propagation and merchandising flowers and foliage. The competition includes plant identification, judging of arrangements and problem solving. Members also demonstrate their skills in flower arranging, propagation, preparation of floral and foliage products for sale.

Food Science      
Sponsored by: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania FFA Foundation 

In this CDE, you complete a variety of learning activities related to food science and technology in the food industry. The competition covers product development and presentation, along with food safety issues and identification. Participants use their sensory skills to evaluate and solve problems while applying sound principles in a decision making process.

Sponsored by: Pennsylvania Forest Products Association and Somerset County FFA

Participate in this CDE to grow your skills in forestry management. At the competition, members complete a written exam, identify trees and forestry equipment, and are interviewed regarding forestry-related issues. They also demonstrate their skills in forest disorders, forest management, inventory and approved silviculture practices.

Horse Evaluation      
Sponsored by: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania FFA Foundation 

In this CDE, you evaluate and rank horses on breed characteristics, conformation, and performance. Team members cooperatively complete problems related to equine selection, management, nutrition and production. They also give oral reasons explaining their placing of various classes.

Livestock Evaluation      
Sponsored by: DelGrosso and Pennsylvania Pork Producers Councils

This CDE helps you learn to evaluate beef cattle, sheep, and swine and defend your decisions. At the competition, participants complete a written exam and cooperatively determine keep/cull classes for market and breeding usage, based on physical characteristics and records. They also give oral reasons explaining their placing of various classes.

Marketing Plan      
Sponsored by: BG Brookside Sales

Participate in this CDE to develop practical skills in the marketing process by developing and presenting a marketing plan. The plan promotes a current or proposed agricultural product, supply or service. In competition, your team presents its plan and answers judges’ questions.

Meats Evaluation      
Sponsored by: Cargill Protein, Hazelton, PA and Vantage Foods

In this CDE, you develop skills for careers in the meat animal industry. At the event, members complete a written exam; evaluate beef carcasses for quality and yield grade; identify various meat cuts and place carcasses, wholesale and/or retail cuts. They also complete a meat formulation problem and cooperatively fulfill a customer order.

Milk Quality & Products      
Sponsored by: PA Dairymen's Association

In this CDE, you learn more about quality production, processing, distribution, promotion, marketing and consumption of dairy foods. During competition members complete a written exam, evaluate milk samples, identify cheeses, look for defects in sediment pads and milker parts and distinguish real and artificial dairy foods.

Sponsored by: Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association 

This CDE focuses your skills in all aspects of producing, marketing, using and maintaining landscape plants and related products, equipment and services, including landscape design. Participants complete a written exam, identify plant materials and equipment and interpret landscape plans. They also demonstrate their skills in landscaping, control, merchandising, plant materials measurement, interpersonal relationships and sales.

Parliamentary Procedure      
Sponsored by: Pennsylvania Farm Bureau

The purpose of the Parliamentary Procedure LDE is to encourage students to learn to effectively participate in a business meeting and to assist in the development of their leadership, research and problem solving skills. Members will demonstrate their parliamentary skills in a mock chapter meeting and apply their knowledge of parliamentary law in situations that may arise during civic leadership.

Poultry Evaluation      
Sponsored by: PennAg Industries Association

This CDE supports your learning about production, processing, marketing and consumption of chickens, turkeys, processed products and eggs. Participants complete a written exam, solve a management problem, evaluate animals and products, identify chicken carcass parts and give oral reasons explaining their placing/grading of various classes.

Prepared (Conservation) Public Speaking: Senior and Junior      
Sponsored by: MidAtlantic Farm Credit, AgChoice Farm Credit, Richard Endowment and the Honorable Samuel E Hayes.

The PA FFA Prepared (Conservation) Public Speaking LDE’s are designed to develop agricultural leadership, communication skills, and promote interest in leadership and citizenship by providing members participation in agriculture public speaking activities.

Safe Tractor/Equipment Driving      
Sponsored by: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania FFA Foundation

This safe tractor driving career development event allows students to practice and utilize their equipment operation skills.  Participants will demonstrate these skills by completing a pre-operational tractor inspection, driving industry donated equipment through a two wheeled implement course, and driving through a four wheeled wagon course while being evaluated by CDE committee members and/or judges.

Sponsored by: Close to My Heart Paper Crafting, Denise Sanner and Pennsylvania FFA Foundation 

The Chapter Scrapbook LDE is open to any chapter who creates a scrapbook of their chapter's activities. Review the scorecard and LDE rules for your best opportunity to succeed.

Small Gas Engines      
Sponsored by: BG Brookside Sales


Required tool list has also changed for 2017.  Advisors are responsible for printing off new lists and bringing the required tools. 

Talent Competition      
Showcase your talent to a panel of judges and then perhaps on stage in front of over 1,500 audience members! Pennsylvania FFA is proud to offer this opportunity for individuals, duos, and small groups of members to share their special, unique, and diverse skills or abilities. Whether you sing, dance, juggle, perform acrobatics, train in martial arts, play an instrument, or twirl baton, we've seen it all are are ready for more. Do you have what is takes to win the Pennsylvania FFA Talent Competition?

Veterinary Science      
Sponsored by: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania FFA Foundation

The Veterinary Science CDE provides opportunities for participants to develop technical knowledge and demonstrate practical skills in the field of veterinary science. Participants will demonstrate professional ethics, decision-making, communication and problem-solving skills. Participants will demonstrate technical competency with small and large animals in the areas of anatomy and physiology, clinical procedures, identification, health and safety, and medical terminology.

Sponsored by: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania FFA Foundation

Are you curious about what animals you can find in your back yard?  Then the wildlife competition is for you!  All students in 9th - 12th grades are welcome to take part in this competition.  All we ask is that you have an interest in wildlife of Pennsylvania.  Students will complete a written test, multiple wildlife identification tests, and will also be asked to look at signs and do a habitat evaluation.

The Connection

The Connection: Standards, Anchors, and Careers Development Events

The Connection is a Career Development Events Project completed by Michael Clark, Greenwood High School agricultural educator, as part of his Master of Education degree. Mike's contact information is 717-589-3116; mclark@greenwoodsd.org
The Connection

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