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The Dairy Cattle Evaluation and Management Career Development Event (CDE) helps students develop skills in dairy cattle selection and herd management. Participants evaluate the cattle’s physical characteristics, explain their various classes and analyze a herd record as a team.


Teams of our four students develop skills in observation, analysis, communication and team communication through this competitive CDE. Each participant contributes to the team’s total score through both team and individual activities. Members complete a written exam relating to the dairy industry, evaluate dairy cattle on physical characteristics, and give oral reasons explaining their place of a class.


Students in this event gain a greater understanding of dairy cattle management and become knowledgeable in areas that include animal welfare, biosecurity, business management, current issues, environmental management and safety practices.

Expectations at Convention for Dairy Cattle Evaluation
  • Official Dress required but students can wear warm clothing over the top while judging 

  • Official dress will be scored at the time of reasons

  • Students will remain in assigned groups

  • Students need to know their chapter number

What SHOULD students bring? (Tools/equipment/materials)
  • Two pencils

  • A clean clipboard without notes or writing present. Integrity should be ensured by each chapter advisor prior to dropping your FFA members at the contest site. 

What will be provided by the event?
  • Calculator

  • Any required printed materials

  • Steno 6x9" notebook

  • Scantron sheet

What can students NOT BRING for themselves? 
  • A steno, notebook or any paper materials

  • A calculator


What will get a student/team disqualified? 
  • Using cell phones and/or smartwatches during the event

  • Sharing answers with other participants

  • Cheating from another students paper

  • Talking to other participants during the event

  • Using any paper materials not provided by the event


For your specific questions contact:


Dennis (BJ) Bjorklund

Minnesota FFA CDE Coordinator


Dairy Handler



Through participation in the Dairy Cattle Handlers Activity, students learn to work with others in a way that is cooperative, courteous, and helpful while demonstrating effective dairy handling skills.

Students in this activity present animals for evaluation as part of the Dairy Cattle Evaluation Career Development Event. Handlers earn recognition for their ability to set up their assigned animal to its best advantage, maintain the animal in its most advantageous post, exhibit effective restraint, and move the animal as requested by the event ringmaster. 

Poise, calmness and a positive attitude play a significant role in gaining success in the Dairy Cattle Handlers Activity.

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