The FFA Career Development Events are designed to develop skills that members can continue to utilize throughout their life. Part of the South Dakota State FFA Convention allows members to compete against others from across the state. The Dell Rapids chapter entered a Dairy Cattle Evaluation team, a Milk Quality and Products team, a Natural Resources team and an Ag Mechanics team to compete at the State FFA Convention on April 15, 16 and 17. The natural resource participants Ryan Nichols and Andrew Wiebenga along with the Ag Mechanics team comprised of Joe Wolles, Ryan Michel, Colin LeBrun and John Merry headed to Brookings on Sunday afternoon. The natural resource event consists of identifying 10 specimens in seven different groups –insects, waterfowl and upland birds, other birds, mammals, fish, trees and shrubs, and wood products, along with a written test and problem solving. There were 218 participants making up 61 teams. Andrew placed 124th and Ryan placed 188th. Since the team score is the top three scores from each school added together having only two participants put our team in 58th place. The ag mechanics event is split into two phases. Sunday night, the members completed a team problem solving activity as well as an individual written test. On Monday, the ag mechanics participants had to complete 10 specific hands-on operations. There were 48 teams comprised of the 159 individuals with Joe receiving 2nd place for a gold award and also received a cordless drill for his efforts. Ryan placed 41st for a silver award, Colin placed 86th and John placed 118th. The scores from our top three individuals were added together for the team total, giving them a 5th place finish for a gold award. The milk quality and products team started out Monday morning completing a team activity consisting of a problem solving activity. A sample of milk was tested with the California Mastitis test and each individual scored it based on the appearance. The next part of the event, Jackson Entringer, Riley Miller, Trevor Peter and Colin Karst had ten samples of milk to determine the flavor along with 10 samples of cheese to identify. The last part of the event was to identify four samples based on fat content. This event had 178 individuals making up 52 teams with the Dell Rapids team placing 12th for a silver award. Riley placed 23rd receiving a silver award and Trevor placed 30th for a silver award. Jackson placed 72nd and Colin placed 106th. Gina Wolles, Erica Jurgensen and Heidi Anderson started their Monday morning out taking a written test and then were bussed out to the SDSU dairy farm to evaluate four classes of dairy cattle. They also had to explain their placing of one of the classes by giving oral reasons. The pedigrees of four cows were provided to the members and they needed to place the animals based on information from their pedigree. They also received a scenario relating to a dairy herd and production records from four bulls and they needed to rank those bulls from best to worst in what is called sire selection. Out of the 82 individuals, Gina placed 11th for a silver, Erica placed 41st and Heidi placed 70th. Out of the 27 teams, the dairy cattle evaluation team placed 10th for a bronze award. This was the first year we entered a team in the Safety Quiz Bowl competition sponsored by South Dakota Farmers Union. The four member team consisted of Trevor Peter, Ryan Nichols, Austin Broin and David Halvorson. They competed against a team from Willow Lake and scored 70 points to win the round. Their team score was not high enough to advance them to the second round, where the top four scoring teams will compete at the Dakotafest Farm show in Mitchell in August.