Career and leadership development events are the capstone of FFA contests, allowing members to develop critical thinking and decision-making skills.
The veterinary science CDE is no exception, helping members to throw their hat into the ring and prepare for a potential career in an industry that needs more veterinarians.
While the veterinary science CDE had its beginnings as a national contest in 2013, now, 10 years later, the contest is getting a remake.
The National FFA Organization has adopted a new framework to help make the veterinary science CDE more “real” by delivering a case-based educational experience. The new framework hopes to help members who compete become more prepared for the workforce and their future academic requirements in veterinary medicine.
“Preparing for and competing in the veterinary science CDE was truly transformative for me, and I have no doubt its evolution will make it even more powerful for current and future FFA members,” Dr. Meghan Marner, a Pima JTED FFA alumna from Tucson, Arizona, who took first place in the 2013 National FFA Veterinary Science CDE told the National FFA Organization.
The contest still allows students to work in teams to demonstrate their competency with both large and small animals, but now they’ll be completing a written exam, critical-thinking scenario questions, identification, and hands-on practicums.
Other skills, such as administering medication, practicing clinical procedures, and more, will also be tested.
In the identification portion, students will work on the identification of parasites, instruments, and breeds before completing the hands-on clinical practicums. During the hands-on portion, they’ll contestants will demonstrate practical knowledge, such as how to remove a bandage or properly restrain a dog.
Students will have the summer to prepare for the team activity portion of the contest. They will be given a topic early in the year and are encouraged to spend time interviewing industry professionals to understand their roles in any situation.
If you’re a member interested in the field of veterinary medicine, this contest might be the one for you. The complete list of requirements for the contest (old and new) is in the veterinary science CDE handbook.
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