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Thank you in advance for agreeing to be the host, and for all of the hard work that you will put forth to make our District Career Development Events (CDEs) on January 31 or February 04, 2014 a great success.  I have sent out your contact information on the ListServ (attached to this email is a complete list of hosts and contest information) so that teachers in your District may contact you if they have questions or need additional event information.  As the host, we ask that you communicate directly with the schools in your District announcing details relative to your event.  As a service to you, we will be happy to forward any “mass” emails to the area ListServ on your behalf.

There will be a mandatory District Host Conference Call Thursday, January 23 at 4:00 PM.  Conference call details will be sent to each host prior to the call.  Please mark your calendar and ensure that you or a designee is available for the conference call.  The call should not last more than 30 minutes. 

The dates and locations that we have for each District CDE are as follows:


1 01/31/14 8:00:00 AM (CST) 8:30 AM (CST) Jay City Hall 3695 Jay
2 02/04/14 8:00 AM (CST) 9:00 AM (CST) UF/IFAS Extension Office 2741 Penn Avenue Marianna
3 01/31/14 8:00 AM 9:00 AM Shiloh Baptist Church 173 SW Shiloh St Ft. White
4 01/31/14 8:00 AM 9:00 AM New Oak Grove Baptist Church 18100 NW 262nd Ave Alachua
5 01/31/14 8:00 AM 8:45 AM First Baptist Church of Bushnell 125 W Anderson Ave Bushnell
6 01/31/14 8:30 AM 9:00 AM Creekside Middle School 6801 Airport Rd. Port Orange
7 02/04/14 8:30 AM 9:00 AM UF/IFAS Mid-Florida REC 2725 South Binion Road Apopka
8 02/04/14 4:00 PM 4:00 PM Warner University 13895 Hwy 27 Lake Wales
9 01/31/14 8:00 AM 9:00 AM HCC Plant City – Trinkle Center 1206 N. Park Road Plant City
10 01/31/14 8:00 AM 9:00 AM First United Methodist Church 507 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda
11 02/04/14 8:00 AM 9:00 AM Indian River State College Dixon Hendry Campus 2229 N.W. 9th Avenue Okeechobee
12 01/31/14 9:00 AM 9:00 AM Redland Middle School 16001 SW 248 St Homestead
In the days leading up to your event you will receive contest materials including judges packets, awards, registration forms, etc.  This box should arrive at your school address (listed on attached document) on or before Wednesday, January 29th.  I will also provide you with a listing of those chapters who are registered in each event.  I have asked chapters to register online for Agricultural Mechanics, Aquaculture and Vet Assisting preliminary events by January 17, 2014 and as usual, we will publish a list of registered teams and allow time for missed registrations, etc.  As a reminder, we ask that you please make contact with the schools in your district as to the location, time and registration procedures for your event.
You should prepare to host the following District CDEs:
  • Agricultural Mechanics Preliminary Exam (High School)
  • Aquaculture Preliminary (High School and Middle School)
  • Creed (7th, 8th, and 9th grade)
  • Extemporaneous Public Speaking (High School and Middle School)
  • Opening and Closing Ceremony (Middle School)
  • Parliamentary Procedure (High School and Middle School)
  • Prepared Public Speaking (High School and Middle School)
  • Tractor Operations and Maintenance (High School)
  • Veterinary Assisting Preliminary (High School)

The table below identifies the number of judges, timekeepers, event rooms, waiting rooms and stopwatches needed if you combine MS & HS together in the same presentation rooms.

Career Development Event Held at Sub Dist Held at District MS/HS Judges Required Accuracy Judge Time Keepers CDE Room Holding Room Stop Watches
Agricultural Mechanics Preliminary NO YES HS 1 1 1
Aquaculture Preliminary NO YES HS/MS 1 1 1
Creed Speaking YES YES 7-9 Comb. 3 1 2 1 1 2
Dairy Preliminary YES NO HS/MS 1 1 1
Environmental Science Preliminary YES NO HS 1 1 1
Extemporaneous Public Speaking YES YES HS/MS 3 2 1 1 2
Food Science Preliminary YES NO HS/MS 1 1 1
Opening & Closing Ceremony YES YES MS 3 1 1 1
Parliamentary Procedure YES YES HS/MS 3 1 1 1 1
Prepared Public Speaking YES YES HS/MS 3 2 1 1 2
Safe Tractor Operations YES YES HS 3 1 1 1
Veterinary Assisting Preliminary NO YES HS 1 1 1
One additional step would be to have the judges review the CDE rules and manuscripts for prepared public speaking prior to the event. We trust that you will identify qualified and impartial judge(s) to score the manuscripts prior to the event. If you go to the Florida FFA Association website at you can print out the rules for all of the events listed above. As the District CDE host we understand the challenge of securing unbiased judges for each event, and we trust that you will work collaboratively with the other advisors in your district to ensure representation from all areas. However, beginning in 2009, Florida FFA does not allow any current FFA Advisor with teams participating to serve as a judge for any event in which they have students competing.  Note:  It is a wise decision to seek judges from neighboring communities represented at your contest to ensure that not all judges are from your home community.  If in doubt, ask visiting chapters to supply names for additional judges. Here are a few helpful hints and reminders for hosting District CDEs:

  • If you have not done so already, please email the chapters in your District with final event details, including location, start times, etc.  I will be happy to forward your message to the ListServ if you would like me to do so.
  • Please present the unopened packets to your judges on the morning of the event.  In the event that there is a shortage of materials, please make duplications at the discretion of your judges.  It would be helpful to have a back-up plan that would allow you access to a copy machine in the event that there is a shortage of materials.
  • Please ensure that students mark their Ag Mechanics, Aquaculture and Vet Assisting scantron cards clearly, including their Name, School and Identification Number.
  • Please note that District officers must be elected at the State FFA Convention – not the District Contest.
  • Opening & Closing Ceremonies Rule Clarification:  There typically tends to be some confusion regarding “who” sets up the room and places station markers prior to the presentation.  According to our rules, it states that “the officer team” will be responsible for room set-up.  This could mean the whole team or only part of the team.  Either way, please do not allow judges to deduct points based on who sets up the room, so as long as the student officers are the ones placing the station markers.  Advisors are not allowed to assist in any way during the contest.  As host, please plan to provide a set of National FFA Station Markers. Please be sure that Chapters are aware of the location of the provided station markers prior to the contest.  Note:  At the conclusion of the performance, one question will be asked of each team member.  At the District level, the reference will be the Official FFA Manual chapters entitled “Chapter Officers” and “Chapter Meetings”.  Questions and answers will be provided in judges packet. 
  • Tractor Operations CDE: please remind your judges that each participant can take a two minute test drive with the implement attached, but not through the course. In the event that any or all tractor driving participants do not score a minimum 80% or better on the safety portion (first ten questions) of the exam, then they are not allowed to drive and are disqualified from the CDE.  Tractors used for CDE purposes should not be a tractor that has been used in “practice” by a competing school.
  • Prepared Public Speaking:  Please be reminded that three copies of the Prepared Public Speaking manuscripts are due to the District host one (1) week prior to the CDE.  In the event that the manuscripts are not received, the CDE host & judges reserve the right to eliminate all points associated with the manuscript.  Note:  It is the responsibility of the participating team to ensure that the manuscript is received by the host.  If in doubt, please contact the host before the deadline to ensure that the manuscripts were received.
  • Please encourage your judges to review the rules of the event prior to judging.  Please encourage judges to be consistent with each participant.  If an exception is made for one participant, please ensure that the same exception is made for all.  For confidentiality purposes, do not allow judges scoresheets to be returned to students or advisors.
  • Florida FFA does consider the judge’s decision to be final.  We encourage every effort to be made to ensure fairness and consistency.  For confidentiality purposes, do not allow judges scoresheets to be returned to students or advisors.
  • Florida FFA policy prevents judges score sheets from being returned to participants.  This is to protect the rights and anonymity of our volunteer judges.  If the judges wish to offer comments to participants, please encourage them to do that at the conclusion of the event.
  • Beginning in 2009, Florida FFA does not allow any current FFA Advisor with a participating team to serve as a judge for any event.  In addition, other students/chapter members are not permitted to serve as judges, timekeepers, etc.
  • It is the duty of the event host (or other adult designee) to monitor the holding rooms for all contests.  It is imperative that there be no visitors in or out of the holding room while event is in progress.  If competitor must leave the holding room prior to competition, they should be accompanied or monitored by an event official.  Competitors are not permitted in the event presentation room until it is their time to compete and should not have contact with anyone who has been inside the presentation room prior to competing.  In other words, anyone who has seen other teams perform or has knowledge of any part of the contest (Creed, Par Pro, OCC, Prepared) should not come in contact with students who have not yet participated.
  • Students participating in any contest should not be allowed to use a cell phone or other communication device until the contest is complete.  This rule also applies while waiting in the holding room.
  • State FFA Officers are not allowed to serve in a judging capacity, with the exception of assisting with official dress scoring.
  • Official Dress Scoring – Please note that there has been a clarification regarding Official Dress for Leadership/Indoor Events: The current rubric requires “black dress shoes – closed toe & heel” for female members.  This should be interpreted as black dress shoes with a closed toe AND closed (covered) heel.  There is no requirement for the height of the heel, only that the shoe has a covered back to the heel (no straps, or open back slides).
  • Please be reminded that all CDE winner reports and materials must be received in our office by February 10th (this is not a postmark date).
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