Approximately 9,000 FFA members from across the state will converge on the campus of Tarleton State University on Thursday, March 21, to participate in the annual FFA Invitational Career Development Event (CDE) Judging Contests.
This year marks the 47th year Tarleton’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences will host the statewide FFA invitational, organized by Dr. Ted Ford, professor of agricultural and consumer sciences, and Michelle Damerau, contest coordinator for the college.

Approximately 750 ag science teachers, representing 450-plus Texas high schools, will join FFA members. Several hundred Tarleton students will serve as group leaders and contest mentors. 

Contests will take place on the Stephenville campus as well as at the Agricultural Center, Horticulture Center, Hunewell Ranch, Lone Star Arena, the National Guard Armory and Stephenville City Park. 

The invitational is a practice round, allowing students to prepare for team judging in a variety of categories. FFA members will compete in 19 contests, including: ag sales, dairy cattle, entomology, environmental and natural resources, farm business management, floriculture, home site evaluation, horse, land, livestock, marketing plan, meats, milk quality and products, nursery/landscape, poultry, range, veterinary science, wildlife and wool.
Visiting teams will check in from 6 to 7:30 a.m. at the Bosque River Center, with events scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m.
The top 20 individuals in each of the judging categories will be recognized during a 3 p.m. awards ceremony at Wisdom Gymnasium and presented with a plaque and other prizes. Several $1,000 scholarships will be awarded, along with a $2,000 sweepstakes agricultural scholarship.
The March 21 invitational is the largest of three contests Tarleton will host this spring. The university will welcome high school students again on April 17 for area FFA contests, and on April 25 when Tarleton hosts state FFA contests for dairy cattle, environmental and natural resources, home site evaluation, land, milk quality and products, and range.
For more information on this and future FFA or 4-H events, call 254-968-9020 or email ford@tarleton.edu.