Tarleton set to welcome 1,100 students for FFA state contests

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STEPHENVILLE (April 21, 2015) — Approximately 1,100 FFA members and agricultural science instructors from across the state will gather on the campus of Tarleton State University on Thursday, April 23, to compete for the chance to represent the Texas FFA Association in National FFA Career Development Events (CDE).

This week’s state CDE events include dairy cattle, environmental and natural resources, homesite evaluation, land, range, and milk quality and products judging contests. FFA members from 180 high schools traveling to Stephenville are regional winners from all corners of the state and represent one of 10 administrative “Areas” under the auspices of the Texas FFA Association.

“These state-level events wrap up our contest season for the spring, and in many ways are the highlight of the semester,” said Dr. Don Cawthon, dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “These contests determine which high school FFA teams are good enough to represent Texas in national competition.

“We host several of the state FFA contests at Tarleton because of our reputation across the state, and nationally, for these events, including dairy cattle, dairy foods, land and range. We have also taken the initiative to develop state-level contests in other areas, such as environmental science and natural resource management, which is a real testament to the dedication of our faculty and staff.”

FFA members will arrive at the Bosque River Shopping Center for event check-in from 7:15-8 a.m. ahead of their respective competitions. The contestants will gather in Wisdom Gym at 1:30 p.m. for an awards ceremony.

Hundreds of Tarleton faculty members and students will assist with the FFA state contests, this being the fourth and final contest hosted by the university this spring, said Dr. Ted Ford, professor of agricultural and consumer sciences and organizer of the FFA contests.

Tarleton has hosted the state FFA contest for more than three decades, and was instrumental in establishing the land and range events before the Texas FFA Association adopted the two CDEs as official contests, said Ford.

Earlier this spring, Tarleton hosted the 43rd annual FFA Invitational CDE Contest, which attracted more than 10,000 high school students, and on April 8 the university welcomed approximately 4,500 FFA members for the Area contests.

For more information on this and future FFA or 4-H events, contact Dr. Ted Ford at 254-968-9224 or email ford@tarleton.edu.

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