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Cooperative Extension: SC FFA

General CDE Rules & Guidelines

The following rules and guidelines will govern the conduct of all CDE and LDEs in South Carolina. For event-specific guidelines, eligibility, or procedures, please see the event handbook located at

Failure to abide by these guidelines may result in disqualification of the individual/team.


  1. All students must be dues paying members of the

  2. All students must be enrolled in an agricultural education class and have been input into the online roster system by the fall deadline found on for CDE’s to be held in the fall and by the spring enrollment deadline for CDE’s to be held in the If a team is listed as an affiliate chapter, that must be noted on their registration.

  3. Members of a state winning CDE team cannot participate on another State CDE team during that school year with the exception of events that are not recognized by the National FFA such as, but not limited to: Tractor Driving, Tool ID, Greenhand Knowledge Bowl, Soils, Turf, Wildlife, and

    • Members of a state winning team may however participate in an individual, leadership event (Employment Skills, Creed Speaking, Prepared Public Speaking, or Extemporaneous Public Speaking) during the same school year

      • Should a student win a team event and an individual event, he/she must choose which event they are going to participate in at National Convention prior to August

        • In the event that he/she chooses to participate in a team event, the 2nd place individual from the individual CDE will earn the right to compete at National Convention and will be awarded the travel money to do so.

  4. Once a student has been a state winner in a CDE, they are not allowed to compete in that area again regardless if it is a National event or not.

  5. If a student attends a National Convention as a participant in a CDE, they are ineligible to participate in the State Event again, even if they were not on the state winning team

  6. In a given year, a student may not compete in more than one public speaking event at the state level that has a National This includes prepared, extemporaneous, and creed speaking events.

  7. Unless noted otherwise in the event specific rules, events are open to all members regardless of grade level classification.

Participant Dress

It is highly encouraged that students be in appropriate and proper clothing for all CDEs in which they are competing.

  • It is highly encouraged that students be in pants and close-toed shoes where the situation would be deemed unsafe otherwise.

  • Students must be in pants and closed toed shoes at: livestock judging, horse judging, dairy judging, dairy handler, tractor driving, meats judging and soils.

  • Students should be in proper official dress for all leadership events including: creed speaking, prepared public speaking, extemporaneous speaking, employment skills and agriscience fair.

  • Failure to be in proper official dress (as outlined by a rubric) could result in a lower participant score.

CDE/LDE Registration

  1. Registration deadlines will be set for all CDE/LDEs (unless otherwise noted this deadline will be one week prior to the contest date). Teams MUST be registered by that set deadline, or they may NOT be allowed to compete.

  2. All registrations must be completed using the event forms located at org.

  3. An email will be sent the day after the deadline to confirm your registration for the respective CDE in which you were registering.

  4. All CDE teams consist of four members unless otherwise noted in the event specific

  5. For events with a regional qualifying event, only one (1) substitution is allowed for the state level event. Advisors should notify the CDE/LDE superintendent as soon as possible regarding such 

Middle School Participation

  1. All CDE/LDEs are open to dues paid members of middle school chapters (7th and 8th Grade members).

  2. Eighth graders in rotating classes that do not participate in CDE’s will not lose their eligibility for contests designed for first year students in high school.

  3. The top-scoring middle school team will be recognized at all events.

 Regional Qualifying Events

The following events will have a regional qualifying event prior to the state event (the number of teams advancing to the state event is noted with each):

  1. Greenhand Creed Speaking – Top 2 Speakers

  2. Upper Creed Speaking – Top 2 Speakers

  3. Extemporaneous Public Speaking – Top 2 Speakers

  4. Prepared Public Speaking – Top 2 Speakers

  5. Tool Identification – Top 5 Teams

General Rules and Guidelines

  1. Unless otherwise noted in event guidelines, team events will count the top three individual scores with the fourth (lowest) score being Please refer to event specific guidelines for more information.

  2. Seeking or providing unauthorized aid to participants, use of unauthorized study or reference materials, or other forms of cheating may result in disqualification.

  3. The use of unauthorized electronic devices is not permitted. Any team or individual found using an unauthorized device or aid may be subject to disqualification.

  4. All participating members and alternates are expected to abide by the National FFA Code of Ethics (as listed in the most current National FFA Manual).

  5. Any required pre-competition material(s) (i.e. Prepared Public Speaking Manuscripts, Agriscience Fair Application and Reports, ) must be received by the date set by the event superintendent. Materials that are received late may: a.) be subject to a score penalty or b.) not be allowed to compete (see event guidelines for more information).


Alternates are not discouraged from attending CDE’s, however, the participation of those students is not guaranteed.

  1. The participation of alternates on State level events is not permitted including Tractor, Soils, Ag Mechanics or Wildlife. It is ultimately up to the contest superintendent to determine the participation of alternates in CDE/LDEs.

  2. Should a teacher bring an alternate student to a contest, he/she is responsible for providing the students placing cards/answer sheets and finding reasons takers when appropriate. 

  1. If a CDE calls for a team event, alternates will be placed with other alternates to complete the team activity and not with members of their own team. The participation in the team event is voluntary and at the teacher’s discretion for those deemed alternates.


Every effort will be made to update website materials pertaining to CDE’s in a timely manner. However, specific questions should be directed to State Staff.

Please contact a staff member if you need access to any previous Event Materials and Event Specific Guidelines.

SC FFA Association
SC FFA Association | P.O. Box 1746, Clemson, SC 29633