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Competition teaches high-schoolers agriculture techniques

December 08, 2008

Nearly 1,000 high school students who participate in the FFA Arizona Chapter will compete on Dec. 5 in the annual Mid-Winter Conference Career Development Events (CDEs), hosted by Arizona State University’s Morrison School of Management and Agribusiness at the Polytechnic campus.

Since 1928, the National FFA Organization has taught students and others in Arizona and the nation about agriculture, agricultural technologies, agriculture science and new techniques.

The FFA members representing 80 high schools throughout Arizona will compete at the conference to be recognized state leaders who will then go onto the national FFA competition. These events help prepare students for careers in agriculture.

“The career development events test the abilities of individuals and teams in major areas of agricultural instruction,” said Hunter Williams, Arizona FFA consultant and aeronautical management technology major at ASU.

CDEs are an outgrowth of the curriculum taught in each agricultural education program at high schools and are designed to develop individual responsibilities, foster teamwork and promote communications, while recognizing the value of ethical competition and individual achievement.

“Many times, the career development events help to demonstrate the meaningful connections between classroom instruction and real-life scenarios for these students,” said Williams.

CDEs give young people the knowledge needed for more than 300 diverse careers in the food, fiber and natural resources industries, according to Williams.

“By delivering an integrated model of education through classroom learning, real-world work experience and activities designed to promote personal growth, FFA and agricultural education help students discover and plan their own unique route to future success,” he said.

Students who win at the state level will have an opportunity to travel to the national competition next year. National competition winners receive scholarships for college.

Those competing from Arizona can become state officers while they are in college, representing the FFA at high schools throughout Arizona during the year. They also meet with state legislators twice a year to lobby for agriculture education and their support.

For more information about the event, visit

FFA Media Contact: Hunter Williams, (480) 734-6690,
ASU Media Contact: Christine Lambrakis, (480) 727-1173, (602) 316-5616,