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High school students gain career development at NMSU

More than 1,300 high school students from 73 schools across the state converged in Las Cruces at the end of March to compete in the New Mexico FFA State Career Development Events.


The students were members of the National FFA Organization, which seeks to develop students in leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

"Students who participated in the state career development events last week developed judging and critical thinking skills. They had a chance to apply what they've learned in the classroom in a real-life setting," said Kim O'Byrne, assistant state supervisor of Agricultural Education and FFA.

There are 23 different career development events, or CDEs, which include entomology, farm business management, junior high quiz bowl, livestock, floriculture and poultry, to name a few.

The events took place primarily on the New Mexico State University campus, and many were held in the Pan American Center.

The State FFA Office, located on the NMSU main campus, has been preparing for the event all year, O'Byrne said.

"Hundreds of NMSU students volunteered to help us put this on, as well as a number of professors and department heads. We are very grateful to these people, because we could not put on a contest of this magnitude without their help," she said.

David Richman, of the entomology, plant pathology and weed science department has been helping with the entomology event for 28 years. Tim Ross and Jack Thomas, both of the animal science department, have been helping with the wool and meats contests, respectively, for 25 years, O'Byrne said.

The students who competed in the events started preparing in January.

The Dora FFA Chapter won the Production Sweepstakes award, an overall award in the production-category contests, and Tucumcari FFA won the Horticulture Sweepstakes award.

The Las Cruces FFA chapter placed tenth in the production sweepstakes.