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Cultivating Excellence at Lincoln University’s FFA Career Development Experience

Cultivating Excellence at Lincoln University’s FFA Career Development Experience

Over 750 high school students gathered to compete at Lincoln University's College of Agriculture, Environmental and Human Sciences (LUCAEHS) for the 42nd annual FFA Career Development Experience (CDE) on March 12, 2024. Wearing practical attire and equipped with all the necessary supplies, they arrived ready for the challenge. The event aimed to provide an educational yet challenging platform, fostering essential skills for students to excel at district, state and national level competitions.

During his opening remarks, Dr. Douglas LaVergne, dean of Lincoln's CAEHS, underscored the significance of the competition as a platform for students to translate classroom knowledge into real-world scenarios. He also emphasized the pivotal role of attitude in shaping success.

The judging contests were held on campus, LU's George Washington Carver Farm and LU’s Alan T. Busby Research Farm, and local private farms and businesses, including Longfellow's Garden Center, The Covered Bridge Market, Bruemmer Dairy and Jim Dudley Quarter Horses. The success of Lincoln's CDE was made possible by their generous support and resources, ensuring an enriching and memorable experience for all participants.

Amy Bax, special assistant to the dean of CAEHS and an FFA alumna, highlighted the transformative impact of FFA participation on students' personal and professional growth.

"FFA offers numerous opportunities for personal growth and career preparation," Bax says. "Hopefully, these students will find something here that they're passionate about, whether it's raising cattle or having a greenhouse in their backyard. They might choose to pursue agriculture as a career or enjoy it simply as a hobby."

Students delved into the heart of the competition, engaging in judging contests spanning 13 categories, including agronomy, dairy cattle evaluations, dairy foods, entomology, farm business management, floriculture, forestry, horse evaluations, livestock, meats, poultry evaluations, nursery/landscaping and soils. During assessments, participants maintained focus and patiently waited their turn to demonstrate their knowledge through oral reasoning. Activities ranged from soil evaluations, livestock assessment, forestry skills demonstrations, agronomy challenges and more. Lincoln's CAEHS faculty and staff supervised the individual tests and were assisted by agricultural advisors and members of Lincoln University Ag Club.

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Photo Credit: gettyimages-ahavelaar

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