Spring CDE Prepares Students for Future Competitions


Ari Watson

Every year FFA students participate in competitions across the state. These competitions showcase students’ various skills, such as, livestock judging, vet science and entomology contests. “It’s open to schools across the state, and we usually have between 500 and 600 kids,” ag teacher Patrick Padgett said. “It’s just a practice competition for kids to get prepared for the state and area contests.”

The Hill Country Spring Career Development Event also acts as a fundraiser for not just Fredericksburg but Harper FFA as well. After entry fees have been paid and the contest is over, the schools split the funds. “It’s between Fredericksburg and Harper FFA, and this is our fifth year having the competition,” Padgett said. “This is a fundraiser for us to buy supplies and support the ag and FFA program.”

The contest receives quite a bit of community support as well. There are donations of meat animals to be processed and different animals are brought in to be judged. “People will have leftover show animals or breeding heifers, and they bring them in,” Padgett said. “With the meats judging contest, we’ll get some animals donated, and Mr. Bush processes them in our meats lab.”

The competition was created as a way for FFA students across the state to prepare for qualifying competitions in a real life setting. “A lot of schools host competitions for the money,” Padgett said. “We wanted to give kids a quality contest that actually prepares them.”