Over 700 Arizona students demonstrate career skills in competitive setting!

Submitted by Ryan Hamilton.

Over 700 FFA members gathered on the Arizona Polytechnic Campus for the Arizona FFA annual Midwinter Conference on December 6 to participate in developing their future through Career Development Events (CDEs). Many students throughout their high school careers will ask their teachers “When will I ever use this in the real world?” Students enrolled in Agricultural Education have discovered that CDEs are the answer. Since 1928, FFA has worked to create CDEs that demonstrate the meaningful connections between classroom instruction and real-life scenarios. CDEs build on what is learned in agricultural classes and the FFA.

At the Midwinter Conference this year, students vied for the State Championship title against schools across the state in the areas of Agricultural Sales, Floriculture, Food Science, Marketing Plan, Veterinary Technology and Wildlife. As this is the first state-level event of the school year, several competitive events were also held to encourage younger students to begin their involvement in the organization. Beginning or “Novice” events were conducted for 7th, 8th and 9th grade students in the areas of Parliamentary Procedure, Prepared and Extemporaneous Speaking, Creed and Information.

Below is a list of our winners:





1st Place – Agricultural Sales

Chandler FFA


1st Place – Floriculture Chandler FFA


1st Place – Food Science Gilbert FFA


1st Place – Marketing Plan

Gila Ridge FFA


1st Place – Veterinary Technology

Monument Valley FFA


 1st Place – Wildlife

Ft. Thomas FFA


1st Place – Novice Parli Pro Chandler FFA

1st Place – Novice Public Speaking

Baylee Dougherty,
Buckeye FFA
Individual 1st Place – Novice Extemporaneous Speaking Megan Corderly,
Gila Ridge FFA
Individual 1st Place – Creed Cierra Kirkpatrick, AAEC-Estrella Mountain FFA
Individual 1st Place – Information Hadley Sawyer,
Buckeye FFA

CDEs are an outgrowth of the curriculum taught in each Agricultural Education program and are designed to develop individual responsibilities, foster teamwork and promote communications while recognizing the value of ethical competition and individual achievement. Most events include appropriate team activities where two or more members from one chapter work cooperatively.

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. 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 test the abilities of individuals and teams in major areas of agricultural instruction.

Career Development Events give young people the knowledge needed for more than 300 careers in the food, fiber and natural resources industries. FFA members learn real-world skills to prepare them for a range of futures in such fields as marketing, law, science, business, veterinary medicine and golf course management.

FFA is a national youth organization of 551,666 student members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture with 7,489 local chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Arizona boasts 8,651 members in 74 high schools all across the state. FFA strives to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. For more information about Arizona FFA, visit www.azffa.org.