2017 National FFA Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems Career Development Event Website

Mark Zidon

2016-2020 Event Superintendent

University of Wisconsin-Platteville

Pioneer Tower 217

Platteville, Wisconsin 53818-3099

(608)342-1391 (office)

zidon@uwplatt.edu (email)

This faculty site will be updated as information becomes available throughout the year. Any updates made between August and the date of the National FFA Convention will appear in red to highlight the change. If you find a mistake or an electronic reference does not work, please send an email to the appropriate contest associate superintendent and the superintendent.

Last updated 10/22/17


The changing workplace in America has caused education institutions to reassess the strategies followed when preparing students for their future. To be competitive in the job market a student must be able to access and apply a broad range of information through the use of computers and networks. Today's students must be competent in the management of their resources and they must develop strong interpersonal skills. Students must understand and have experience with complex systems and a variety of technologies.

To effectively prepare students for the agricultural mechanics work environment, the students must acquire knowledge and skills, and develop the ability to solve difficult problems. The agricultural mechanics professional of tomorrow will perform these skills while working with others and apply these skills to a range of systems and technologies that interrelate. The agricultural mechanics profession requires employees to do much more than perform tasks.

The National FFA Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Career Development Event is designed to recognize those students who have developed the competencies necessary for success in the constantly changing workplace. The traditional knowledge and skills are still a part of agricultural mechanics technical content, but many other abilities are now necessary. Emphasis is placed on the way in which students work with others, access information, solve complex problems, select an appropriate technology, and apply the principles of science. The agricultural mechanics career development event balances problem solving abilities, with knowledge, skills, and experience. These abilities are evaluated for students working together as a team and for each student working independently.

Announcements -

  • Coaches Meeting
  • Schedule for Coaches/contestants/Judges - Schedule of Activities
  • Information / Rules / Scoring for the Event

    Please review the general references for the CDE. - CDE rules

    Content Areas for the Event

    The career development event will be developed from the following subject matter topics described under the five systems areas listed below.

    Equipment each team should bring:

    Laptop computer and printer -

    Teams MUST bring at least one laptop computer and one portable printer (you can bring more). The two computers will allow more than one team member to work on the team report at the same time and provides a backup in the event of a computer failure. The laptops must be able to read HTML, Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0 (PDF) or higher, MS-Excel 2003, and MS-Word 2003 or higher files from a USB flash drive. Laptop computers that are several years old (5+) will present a disadvantage to students. A USB flash drive will be used to provide information for the team activity. The large computer files and graphics on the USB Flash drive can operate very slowly on older operating systems and sometimes will lockup the software, requiring the computer to be rebooted. To summarize, each team is REQUIRED to bring their computers for use in the team activity.

    Computer Equipment Checklist:

  • Be sure team members know any password needed to access their laptop.
  • Double check that printer paper, cables, and power supplies are included with your equipment.
  • Computer should be TESTED with the printer prior to the contest. Note: The security settings on some computers may prevent configuration by regular users. To provide maximum flexibility during the contest it is recommended that security be relaxed or a admin login be required.
  • The computer must be loaded with Internet Explorer, Word, Excel, and Adobe Acrobat Reader or their equivalent. Informational files might be provided in any or all of these formats.
  • Team members should be familiar with basic functions of the required software. These are skills commonly needed in industry and are useful in this event.
  • The computer must capable of reading a USB flash drive.
  • Each team will be given a flash drive for their computer(s). The flash drive will have the instructions and information specific to the activity and the final report will be typed and printed.
  • Teams may save any information they wish on the hard drive of their computers and they may access and use this information during the team activity.
  • Each team will use either their printer(s) or the CDE printers to printout the final report and any other information needed from the computer's hard drive or the flash drive.
  • Teams will have TWO options in regards to the use of printers.
  • Printing Option 1: Teams may bring their own printers and paper to connect to their laptops during the Team Activity

    Printing Option 2 A printing station will be set up adjacent to the team activity area.

  • Teams will be expected to save their materials to the flash drive, and at the completion of the activity, bring their flash drives to the printing station for CDE staff to print off their final report and other required documents.
  • Teams will be expected to remain in the team activity area until the final report and other required documents have been printed.
  • Please Note: Teams may save any information they wish on the hard drive of their computers and they may access and use this information during the team activity. Students will NOT be allowed to bring any external storage medium (flash drives etc.) to the team activity. Students will NOT be allowed to establish a connection to the internet during the event. Students connecting to the Internet will be disqualified from the event.

  • NOTE: Use caution when shipping or checking as baggage printers as they may be easily damaged. It is highly recommended that all equipment be tested after arriving in Indianapolis and before arriving at the CDE.

    Welding gloves / helmet &/or goggles

    Each student must furnish their own gloves, helmet &/or goggles.

    Safety glasses

    All team members must wear safety glasses during the team and skill events. If there is a need for “googles” (not commonly used) then each student must have “appropriately tinted welding googles, welding helmet with adjustable tent, or appropriately tinted safety glasses.” Further, to enter the CDE area, students must have their own safety glasses in their possession. Each year there are individuals and teams that arrive for Wednesday's team activity and/or Thursday's skill activities without safety glasses. Safety glasses must have a Z87+ rating. To be sure your safety glasses are Z87+, refer to the downloadable pdf rules previously referenced.

    Hand Calculator

    Each team member will need a calculator to complete the multiple-choice examination on Wednesday and the skill activities on Thursday. Neither iPads (or similar technology) or cell phones can be used as a calculator during the event. Students will not be allowed to share a calculator during the examination on Wednesday or during the skill activities on Thursday. The team activity will also require calculators which team members may share during this activity.

    Use of Cell Phone

    No team member is allowed to use a cell phone or any other communication device at any time during the event.

    Return to the CDE Development Page