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Career Development Events

Career Development Events

For students who ask “When am I ever going to use this?” Career Development Events (CDE’s) may be the key.

CDE’s focus on student success. Career opportunities abound in today's agriculture industry. The key to success lies in the ability to think critically, communicate clearly and perform effectively in a competitive world. These skills are enhanced through participation in CDE competitions. Students can explore several areas from among the estimated 300 agriculture related career opportunities.

Most of these contests are team events with 3-4 members. We typically compete the month of March and April.  Teams must qualify at District Contest to compete at State Contest.  First place state winners will compete at the National level.

Check out the CDEs below and you may find quite a few that interest you!

Agricultural Mechanics

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.
Even Years
  • Ag Machinery
  • Tractor Power
  • Electric Motors
  • Concrete & Plumbing
  • Oxy- Acetylene, Oxy-Propane, Plasma
  • Repair & Maintenance
Odd Years
  • Ag Machinery
  • Small Gas Engines
  • Electrical Circuits
  • Woodworking & Carpentry
  • Arc or MIG Welding
  • Soil & Water Management

Agricultural Sales

In this CDE, you demonstrate the professional sales process, including customer relations, advertising and promotion, telephone skills and product display. At the competition, members complete a 50-question test, present a project summary and make a sales presentation for an agricultural product. They also complete one of four practical problems and cooperatively solve a market analysis problem. 


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.

Dairy Cattle

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. 

Dairy Foods

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, and look for defects in sediment pads and milker parts and distinguish real and artificial dairy foods. 


This CDE will test your knowledge of identifying beneficial and destructive insects as well as their orders, metamorphosis and mouth parts.  You will also gain a knowledge of safe practices in applying pesticides and insect biology, behavior, and collection techniques.

Farm Management

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. 


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. 


If you have an interest in forestry this CDE is for you.  You will be able to identify common trees in Missouri, recognizes tools and equipment  and their uses in forest management, and inventory standing timber.  You will also learn how to interpret topographical maps and legal land descriptions.


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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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.


This CDE focuses on being able to identify and evaluate characteristics of soil.  You will learn how to evaluate surface features and how they affect the potential use of land, as well as conservation practice of soil.


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