Being on a state qualifying CDE team is a great achievement. It is not an easy task to be a part of that team either. It takes a lot of time, practice, and dedication from not only your team but you too. You can get to state as an individual, but without your team you cannot advance to nationals.
The CDE’s are very competitive, so you and your team might not get the results that you want to see right away, but that’s alright. One thing that the FFA organization has taught me is that you have to work for what you want. If you expect that everything is just going to be handed to you, then you are not going to be successful as you want to be.
When I joined the FFA my sophomore year, I wanted to get involved. I joined the soils judging team. I didn’t really think that it was going to be very difficult, but I found out really soon that I was wrong. I think that the easiest part of this CDE would be memorizing the rules, and there are quite a few rules. I didn’t try very hard to memorize them; I was basically in it to say I did it.
I decided to try it again my junior year. I wasn’t really planning on trying extremely hard, but it was a team effort. I knew I had to try. I got my rules down and I was surprised at how fast I was starting to catch on. Then at area competition I surprised myself. I wasn’t one of the top judgers, but I definitely was improving. Now that I realized I was capable of being good a soils judging, I couldn’t wait for my senior year of soils judging to start. When it finally got here, I was ready.
I got my rules down and was learning as much as I could about the soils I was judging. I was really feeling like I was going to good this year. When we finally arrived at area competition I was nervous, but I was ready to get started. After the contest I wasn’t sure how I did, but when results came back it all paid off. I was third individually. My team was also going to state. State didn’t go as well as we hoped I was 54th individual and our team didn’t place very well. It isn’t easy to advance to nationals out of state, but it was a great achievement by our team to qualify for state. From my experiences with soils judging, I learned that even if at first I don’t succeed, to try again.