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.
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.
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 (https://www.ffa.org/participate/cde-lde/agricultural-issues-forum/)
Agricultural Technology Issues
Agricultural Career Issues
Economy and Trade Issues
Agricultural Policy Issues
Food Safety 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.
Expectations at Convention for Agricultural Issues LDE
Please arrive and wait outside the room quietly until you are called as there may be presentations going on. The LDE chair will come get you when it is time.
After you have completed set-up, the LDE chair will introduce your group (“Now presenting, the xxx FFA Chapter”). Please begin as soon as they have sat down.
There will be an individual timing the presentation and question portions. The presentation may only be 15 minutes. The timer will signal at 10 minutes and 14 minutes before calling time at 15 minutes. Stop speaking immediately. The timer will also time the five minutes for questions.
The public is able to view this contest. We ask that students who are presenting in future rounds not sit in the room until they have given their presentation.
What SHOULD students bring? (Tools/equipment/materials)
Students need to bring any props for their presentations. They are allowed to utilize costumes and not wear FFA official dress; however, it must have a purpose. Typically, students wear costumes to depict their characters or side of the issue. They’ve also worn official dress but included a hat, placard or some item helping the audience distinguish their role.
Although most of the time presentations are memorized, students are able to have speaking notes.
If you have a PowerPoint slide (which most do), include it on a flash drive as a laptop is provided. It is also encouraged to have it accessible online just in case.
What can students NOT BRING for themselves?
Chapters do not need to bring portfolios for the judges. They will be provided a copy by the LDE chair.
What will get a team disqualified?
Chapters must have a minimum of three and a maximum of seven students and each student must take a role speaking.
Based on the categories listed above, the same general agricultural issue topic will not be used in the following three years by the same chapter and/or advisor.
The event chair reserves the right to remove any team whose presentation, props, skits or other actions disrespect others or show a lack of good judgment.
Chapters will not get disqualified for coming to a conclusion (aka saying which side they agree with); however, they will lose points.
What will be provided by the event?
In the rules it states only a front projection screen is provided. However, the room utilized at state convention has a projector in it, and the LDE chair has also provided a laptop. You are welcome to bring your own computer if that is more convenient. (If your team moves on to nationals, please be aware only the screen is provided.)
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.
National FFA Core Catalog—Past CDE Material (www.shop.FFA.org)
National FFA Core Catalog—Power of Demonstration DVD (www.shop.FFA.org)
Updated Focusing on Agricultural Issues Instructional Materials (https://www.ffa.org/participate/cde-lde/agricultural-issues-forum/)
“Helpful hints to give your students the best opportunity to do well in the Agricultural Issues Forum Career Development Event at the State and National FFA Conventions” can be found on the Agricultural Issues Instructional Materials website listed above and the National FFA website (https://www.ffa.org/participate/cde-lde/agricultural-issues-forum/)
If you would like to preregister for this event or have any questions, please contact LDE Coordinator, Lavyne Rada at firstname.lastname@example.org.
State Qualifier Submissions
due April 1
For your specific questions contact:
Minnesota FFA LDE Coordinator
146 Ruttan Hall
1984 Buford Ave.
St Paul, MN 55108