Preparing for future careers

FFA students compete in leadership events, do not advance


Valerie Benzinger

Students in the FFA program competed in LDEs on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

FFA students participated in the District 4 Leadership Development Event (LDE) competition after school on Tuesday, Nov. 12. More than 20 teams participated in the competition, which was held at Anna High School. Though no students advanced to the Area V competition, which will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 20, they were able to grow and develop as public speakers through the competition.

With over 15 unique LDEs to choose from, students were able to pick a category which closely matches their interests. Depending on the competition, students either gave a speech, performed interviews or took written tests on agriculturally-related topics.

“A lot of kids don’t know public speaking and some of them have to get in front of five or six adults who are experts in that area and present what they know,” agriculture teacher Sydney Wallace said.

Senior Diego Martinez participated in the job interview LDE. This competition mimicked a real job interview, complete with phone conferences, face-to-face interviews and cover letters.

“I had to take a lot of resumes and fill them out,” Martinez said. “I had to work on cover letters, follow-up letters, speaking skills and having the right word choice. I practiced for about a month.”

Though most LDEs have a leadership or public speaking aspect to them, students may opt for events such as senior quiz. For this event, teams of four students answer questions about the history of FFA and farming in American history.

“[I chose my event] because it’s different from public speaking,” sophomore FFA reporter Matthew Winger said. “I like to show my knowledge on paper instead of speaking it.”

Through joining FFA and participating in LDEs, students are able to learn leadership skills they believe will help them to succeed in life. Though this competition marks the end of this year’s LDE teams, the spring semester will bring FFA students opportunities to compete in Career Development Events (CDEs), which focus on building specific skills for agricultural careers.

“I learn a lot of public speaking skills and how to be confident and comfortable around others,” Martinez said.