Tarleton Hosts 50th Annual CDE Invitational

On March 24th, 2022, Tarleton State University held its 50th Annual FFA CDE Invitational. FFA students came from all around the state to participate and practice their skills in Career Development Events. This event is something many FFA members look forward to participating in each year, but this year it was record breaking. 9,500 students and teachers were present for the largest CDE event in the nation. 

If you are not familiar with FFA, CDE stands for Career Development Event. The contests for these events are held every spring with a fierce competition at the district, area, and state level. Invitationals such as the one Tarleton hosts every year are utilized to sharpen students’ skills in their area. There are 17 different categories students can participate in including poultry judging, vet science, nursery/landscape, and milk quality. 

Kendall Thompson

In order to complete this contest, students are broken up into groups and the groups rotate to different stations for their respective subject. Some include practicum, tests, identification, and placing of classes. Every one of the categories offered can further a students’ success in the agricultural field and helps them to know what is necessary to be successful in that career. 

To make this event possible, hundreds of student and faculty volunteers are needed for this big day. When asked what it felt like to be on the flip side of things, as a volunteer, now that her high school days are over. Savannah Ellis replied, It is absolutely mind blowing to see all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to put this amazing invitational on. I loved the FFA in high school and now being on the other side of things is great and it is such a great experience to give back to the organization that made me the person I am today.

Mason Wright was one of the many students at the event. Wright competed in Homesite and this is his first year to do so, he is an 8th grader from Decatur Jr. High School. “So far, my favorite thing about it is being outside and learning about the land and soil contents and quality,” said Wright. Students from all around come out to these competitions to learn and gain more knowledge for the next one.

At the end of the day, all the participants and advisors gathered into Wisdom Gym for the award ceremony. The various schools filled the gym as they waited for the results. Completing that day with this award ceremony the CDE contest was over and service day was a success.