Middletown High School FFA students won the 2019 “Forestry Career Development Event (CDE),” a challenging test of tree identification skills, forestry tools and knowledge, and math-related abilities. Also participating were teams from Sussex Central High School, Milford High School, and Millsboro Middle School. Each team consisted of four students who answered both individual and team-based questions. Middletown will now represent Delaware at the 92nd Annual National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis that begins on October 30, 2019.
The forestry event took place at Kent County’s Brecknock Park in Camden under the direction of Delaware Forest Service education specialist Ashley Melvin. This year’s challenge measures student knowledge in six skill areas: tree identification, tree pests and diseases, timber stand improvement, compass and pacing, board-foot volume estimation, and an individual written examination.
According to FFA, Career Development Events help students “think critically, communicate clearly, and perform effectively in a competitive job market.” There are many CDEs, covering areas from communications to mechanics. Some events allow students to compete as individuals, while others allow them to compete in teams.
The National FFA Organization, originally the Future Farmers of America, was founded in 1928 as a national organization for boys in rural, farming communities. Its original purpose, the education of youth in agricultural fields of study, is still recognized through its current programs. Today, its mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. Through educational programs, the FFA teaches students how to become active in their communities and successful in their occupation. FFA membership includes junior high, high school, and college students and totals approximately 450,000.