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LAS CRUCES- About 1,200 FFA members from across the state will compete in 20 state career development events March 31-April 3 at New Mexico State University.
"Career development events teach skills in a hands-on method that relates to future job experience," said Les Purcella, state supervisor of agricultural education and FFA.
The career development contests include livestock evaluation, landscape design, wildlife evaluation, floriculture, land, agricultural mechanics and meats. Students test their knowledge in judging competitions and written exams. Some of the challenges include ranking a class of livestock, rebuilding parts of engines, welding, determining soil types and identifying plants. Students must also defend their choices by giving sets of reasons explaining their placings in each class. Each contest is a timed event.
New Mexico has 6,000 agricultural education students, more than 4,000 of whom belong to FFA. FFA members participate in community service projects, competitions and leadership events that prepare them for more than 300 careers related to agriculture.
Registration begins at 10 a.m. on March 31. A career fair and activities, hosted by NMSU staff and students will conclude the contests Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. Awards will be presented Saturday at 9 a.m. in the Corbett Center ballrooms on campus.
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