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Participants in the Agricultural Issues Forum Leadership Development Event (LDE) research the pros and cons of an agricultural issue and present their findings to a panel of judges.

This team LDE challenges students to investigate a variety of current local, state, national and international issues facing agriculture through classroom instruction. Students then demonstrate through portfolio, presentation, and questioning an understanding of the principles and fundamentals of agricultural issue analysis.


Communication, leadership, and teamwork skills are critical to event success. This event connects agriculture students with professionals in the industry as they research, present, and then understand complicated issues facing the agricultural landscape – making it especially attractive to students with an interest in agricultural policy, law, and international relations.


The state agricultural issues event will be limited to up to eight participating chapters. The competition will be held at the Minnesota FFA convention. If more than eight chapters preregister to the MN FFA LDE Coordinator before March 1, all preregistered chapters will submit their portfolios in a PDF to be judged by April 1. The top eight scoring portfolios that will compete at State Convention will be announced after the portfolios are judged before April 10.


Purpose and Objectives

The purpose of the FFA Agricultural Issues forum is: 1) To stimulate the study of the interest in agricultural issues among agricultural students and the “non-agricultural” public. 2) To encourage local efforts by providing recognition skills and competencies as a result of instruction in issues analysis.

This event will provide the participant with the ability to:

  • Investigate a variety of local, state, national and international issues facing agriculture through classroom instruction.

  • Engage students in the selection, research, planning and presentation of a local, state, national or international agricultural issue with relevance to the local community.

  • Demonstrate through the portfolio, presentation and questioning an understanding of the principles and fundamentals of agricultural issue analysis.

  • Connect agriculture students with professionals in the industry as they research and present their forum.

  • Increase the awareness of an agricultural issue at the local, state or national level through presentations of the forum.

  • Apply teamwork, leadership and communication skills for career success.


Event Rules

A team should be composed of a minimum of three and a maximum of seven students who are actively participating, orally presenting and available to answer the judges’ questions. To score points, each student must take an active role in the presentation. This includes active participation in the presentation and making themselves available for questions from the judges.


Only the certified team members can take an active role in the presentation of materials and use of technology during the presentation. Presentations may include official FFA dress, costumes, props, skits and other creative paraphernalia. Costumes, props, skits and other paraphernalia must be professional in nature and used to showcase respect of all cultures. The event chairs reserves the right to remove any team whose presentation, props, skits or other actions are disrespectful of others or shows lack of good judgement.


Use of Technology and Props

Teams are encouraged to be creative in the approach used to develop their team presentations including the use of technology and other props. Teams are cautioned that the use or over use of any technology or prop that reduces the focus on the content provided by the team and the team’s presentation of the content can result in a lower presentation score.


Event Format

Each team will conduct a presentation on the issue developed and presented at the local level. A front projection screen will be provided. Other equipment is allowed, but the presenting team must provide any other equipment they may need. The agricultural issue could come from one of the following eight agricultural issue topic areas as listed in the Focusing on Agricultural Issues Instructional Materials (

  • Environmental Issues

  • Agricultural Technology Issues

  • Animal Issues

  • Agricultural Career Issues

  • Economy and Trade Issues

  • Agricultural Policy Issues

  • Food Safety Issues

  • Biotechnology Issues


The same general agricultural issue topic, based on categories listed above, will not be used in the following three years by the same chapter and/or advisor. Research on the topic must be current and students must be involved in all the research of the topic and development of the portfolio.


The portfolio will be limited to ten single-sided pages or five double-sided 8 ½ x 11 pages maximum, not including cover page. Margins are to be set at a minimum of 1” top and bottom. A maximum of ten points will be deducted for exceeding the maximum amount of pages and/or for not including the cover page containing required information.


Agricultural issues portfolios must be sent to the CDE coordinator in a PDF by the April 1 deadline.



References This list of references is not intended to be all-inclusive. Other sources may be utilized, and teachers are encouraged to make use of the very best instructional materials available. The following list contains references that may prove helpful during event preparation.



If you would like to preregister for this event or have any questions, please contact LDE Coordinator, Lavyne Rada at

State Qualifier Submissions
due April 1

For your specific questions contact:


Lavyne Rada

Minnesota FFA LDE Coordinator

146 Ruttan Hall   

1984 Buford Ave.    

St Paul, MN 55108



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