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Participants in the Agricultural Communications Career Development Event (CDE) work as a team of communication consultants to develop a written media plan, present the plan to a panel of judges, and, as individuals, apply what they have learned during practicums, a quiz and editing exercise. 

This team CDE challenges students to communicate effectively while advocating to consumers about agriculture and telling the FFA story. Students will use a variety of media in their plans—social media, broadcast and print advertising, press releases, fliers, brochures, blogging, displays and more. 

Communication, collaboration, creativity and presentation skills are important to event success. Students also learn a variety of technical skills such as journalistic and opinion writing, website design, video production, social media and more. 

NDSU - FFA Agricultural Communication CDE

NDSU Agriculture Communication is pleased to host the annual North Dakota FFA Agricultural Communication Career Development Event.  The North Dakota event follows most, but not all, of the national Agricultural Communication CDE guidelines. 


The 2022 media plan scenario is:

Your chapter’s agricultural communications committee has been approached by a benefactor of a local community garden in your state to promote the establishment/revitalization/importance of the garden in the community it serves. Your committee has the option to decide what is included in the promotion of this community garden. This promotion might include one or more of the following related to the community garden’s efforts: innovative growing techniques, the community the garden serves, community engagement opportunities, events, volunteer opportunities, social functions, adult and youth educational opportunities, etc. Please remember the plan should focus on promoting a community garden within your state.

Scenarios are based around agricultural advocacy.  Teams will develop a media plan from the following rotating topics.


Tell a Local FFA Story

  • FFA Member

  • FFA Chapter

  • FFA Advisor

  • State FFA Association

  • FFA Alumni/Supporter


Advocate the Industry of Agriculture to consumers

The focus could include one of the following subjects:

  • Farmer/Rancher

  • Commodity

  • Farmer's Market

  • Community Garden (2022)

  • Farm to Table

  • A local opportunity for public relations not tied to FFA


For 2022, the media plan is to tell a local FFA chapter story focused on the Community Garden.

All media proposals must be emailed in PDF format to Kelli Anderson by 11:59 pm on Wednesday, June 1, 2022.

2022 practicums are:

Web Designer (every year)

Hardware and Software: PCs. Create in WordPress. Must have your own WordPress account before the competition. Graphics and dummy text provided. NDSU computer lab has other software available for developing additional graphics for your WordPress pages.

Required elements:

  • A main page and a page that it links to

  • Banner

  • Background color

  • External link (linking to another site)

  • Internal link (linking your two pages together)

  • Logo

  • Photo(s) and/or graphic(s) with captions

  • Email link

  • Contact information

Web pages will be evaluated on:

  • Overall attractiveness

  • Technical skills

  • Use of design principles

  • Neatness and creativity

  • Choice and placement of photos and graphics

  • Usability and navigation


Video Producer (every year)

Hardware and Software: PCs. Use Premiere Elements software in NDSU computer lab.


Required elements: 60 to 90 seconds with:

  • Title

  • At least one video clip

  • At least one still photo

  • At least one logo or other graphic

  • Background music with the audio track


Videos will be evaluated on:

  • Promotional value

  • Tells a story

  • Use of provided materials

  • Quality of video editing

  • Audio editing

  • Creativity

  • Within time limit


Journalistic Writer 

  • Press Release (2023)

  • News Story (2024)

  • Feature Story (2022)


Hardware and software: PCs. Microsoft Word.
Students will use their notes from the news conference to write a news story, similar to what they might see in AgWeek or Farm and Ranch Guide. Use of internet for sourcing external content is not allowed.


Required elements:

  • Details about the announcement/event

  • A quote from the news conference speaker

  • Contact information


News stories will be evaluated on:

  • Lead/focus

  • Accuracy of information and quotes

  • Clarity and conciseness

  • Correct style (AP)

  • Depth of coverage

  • Header/headline

  • Grammar, spelling, punctuation and word choice

  • Organization and format

  • Accomplishment of purpose


Opinion Writer

  • A blog Post (250-300 words) 2022

  • An op-ed (500-750 words) 

  • A letter to the editor (300-500 words)


Hardware and software: PCs. Microsoft Word.
Students will use what they learn at the news conference, their own knowledge of the subject and their opinions to write  an opinion/editorial commentary that might be included on the editorial page of a local newspaper.


Required elements:

  • An opinion to do or not do something

  • A quote from the news conference speaker to back up your opinion

  • Contact information


Op-eds will be evaluated on:

  • Lead/focus

  • Accuracy of information and quotes

  • Clarity and conciseness

  • Correct style (AP)

  • Takes a position that is supported with evidence

  • Header/headline

  • Grammar, spelling, punctuation and word choice

  • Organization and format

  • Accomplishment of purpose

To help North Dakota FFA members prepare for this CDE, students may:


For questions about the North Dakota Agricultural Communications career development event, contact Kristin Harner via email or at 701-231-7875.

Back to CDEs

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