Wednesday, February 22, 2012

FFA Week - Career Development Events

I love Career Development Events (CDE).  There is no other activity that can top this source of education, team work, stress, achievement, positive self change, and fun.  I have had the opportunity to coach a lot of different CDE's and work with several students and teams.  I wish I had pictures of all the teams and students I have had the opportunity to work with.  I also wish there was a quantitative value you could put on the time Agriculture Educators spend working on CDE's with students and how it changes lives.
Here are a few of the highlights in no particular order.

Urban Soils - I really enjoyed learning and coaching Urban Soils.  My favorite memory from this team was the night before the state contest Quinn asked what he should study and I told him I would read the Urban Soils Booklet over for tomorrow.  I really thought just skim some of the highlights.  I thought in high school terms that meant he would put it under his pillow that night and sleep on it.  But, he read the whole darn book and scored a perfect on the state soils test.  I thought - Wow! They won a banner.

. . . and then I moved to Nebraska for land judging and the only similarity was the soil survey was the same.  The soils were different, the calls were different EVERYTHING was different about the soils/land judging contest.

Floriculture - I started coaching floriculture because I thought it would be fun to learn to make a corsage. It was!  The several girls I coached learned a lot and had some fun.  This team won 2nd in the state and we were so excited.  We would be headed to the Big E (my first team qualifying).  Then they found out we would have to drive because the chapter didn't have the funds for airplane tickets and the practicum would no longer be making a corsage but doing the flowers for either a wedding or a funeral.  They quit- I couldn't really blame them.  I never coached a floriculture team again.

. . . so then I decided to start coaching the Nursery Landscaping Team.

Equine Management - After several years of coaching livestock - the equine team recruited me to help them.  My knowledge of horses is limited - but I learned a lot and it was so much fun coaching this team.  This team also earned the right to compete at the Big E and in Texas.

Parliamentary Procedure - (see my blog about Parliamentary Procedure) The single CDE that I have ever seen the most change in a student.

 Job Interview - The CDE I get the most phone calls about this contest today.  I heart Job Interview.  This contest is so fake and real life at the same time. I feel this contest has helped the most students out of any of the CDE's I have coached to date. When I was in the hospital giving birth to my daughter, a student from my class a few years back called to see if I could help her with a job interview she had the next day.  I asked if she had the notes I had given her in class and she did, so we worked through it - I do believe she got the job. Yeah for the Job Interview Contest.

Small Engines - I only drove these boys to their contest.  I don't have a picture of the only Small Engine Team I have ever coached .  The team I coached came to my room and asked if I wanted to coach their team.  I politely declined, because my Small Engine knowledge is limited.  They begged - so I grabbed the rules for the contest and several community members.  Together I learned a few things and they learned a lot and the community members were awesome.  They ended up 12th in the State.  I was proud of them for wanting to work so hard.

Animal Health - The animal lovers group. These students read college level books and memorized all the vet's tools.  This contest is a lot of reading and studying and the students always performed and worked hard.

Public Speaking - Public speaking is nerve racking, re writing, re memorizing, and life changing.

Livestock Judging - This team below is the first Livestock banner team I ever coached.  I was so proud of them the day we found out they won a banner.

Agriculture Sales - I love this contest for the creativity they still allow.  I always tell people I am glad the FFA has not "rubriced" (is that a verb) this contest to death.

Welding - I never imagined enjoying this contest as much as I did.  One day I hope to have the opportunity to work with welders again. More about welding can be found at my blog titled FFA Week - A Welding Blessing.

sorry for all the missing students and pictures.  It has been a blessing coaching each of you.  Thank you for the knowledge and adventure.


  1. As I sit here reading your Blog tonight it brings back a flood of memories from my high school ag. career. I know I have told you this before but I would not be where I am at today if it wasn't for your guidance and support. You helped me find my passion in life and helped me find my voice. I never imagined when I first joined the FFA where my life would eventually take me. You have been there for me in some of my greatest achievements and have been there when things just didn't go the way we planned! I hope that I can one day inspire students, like you have. Thank you again!

    1. Are you trying to make me cry? Jessica I would do it all over again. So proud to be your former Ag. Teacher. Good Luck and you will be a wonderful Ag. Teacher. A thank you to a teacher is worth more than a paycheck.