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Agricultual Issues Forum
 Students participating in the FFA Agricultural Issues Forum can be any high school FFA Member.

Team members must be in Official FFA Dress.

A team of 3 to 7 students research and analyze a current agricultural issue, create a portfolio and also develop and deliver a presentation that stresses both pros and cons of their selected agricultural issue. At the event competition, members use verbal skills and presentation abilities to defend their findings and answer judges’ questions.

The following is a list of the Texas FFA rules regarding the contest.



The purpose of the Agricultural Issues Forum is to: 1) stimulate the study of and interest in

agricultural issues among agriculture students and the "non-agricultural" public, and 2) encourage

local efforts by providing recognition for those who have demonstrated skills and competencies as

a result of instruction in issues analysis.


1. To provide an opportunity to expose a wide variety of students to the selection, research,

planning and presentation of an agricultural issue.

2. To acquire knowledge and skill in community leadership for present and future use.

3. To become knowledgeable of, and familiar with, a variety of local, state, national and

international issues facing agriculture.

4. To understand the principles and fundamentals of agricultural issue analysis.

5. To further the awareness of agricultural issues in the local community.

6. To promote integration of agricultural issue analysis in local school academic subject

matter areas.

7. To promote career choices by providing an opportunity for individuals to become

acquainted with professionals in the industry.

8. To foster teamwork, leadership and communication skills.


1. Team make-up - A minimum of three and a maximum of seven students who are actively

participating, orally presenting, and available to answer judges’ questions. Team members

may serve as a non-presenting technician but must answer questions. Such participation

shall not impact participation scores but shall be counted toward the total number of team


2. Team members must be in official dress as outlined in the Official FFA Manual for the

entire presentation.

3. Presentations may include props, skits, and other creative paraphernalia.

4. Guidelines of eligibility for the Agricultural Issues Forum will be consistent with other

National FFA Career Development Events. Teams will be certified by respective area

coordinators. Signatures of community representatives must be on registration forms.

5. A minimum of three competent and unbiased judges will be provided. They will be

instructed not to take sides on the issue(s). Professors and industry representatives are


6. The "Statement of Originality" shall be submitted with the portfolio. The "Statement of

Originality" must be signed by the agriscience teacher and each member of the team.


Five copies of the team’s portfolio must be submitted to contest officials at Sam Houston

State University, arriving no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday preceding the state

events. A $40.00 fee will be assessed for late portfolios or sending fewer copies than

specified in the rules. The address listed below is the regular mailing address. Use the

physical address to the right for couriers other than the U.S. Postal Service (UPS, FedEx,


                State FFA LDE’s

                Attn: Dwayne Pavelock

                Department of Agricultural Sciences

                Sam Houston State University

                Box 2088 1831 University Avenue—THOM 222

                Huntsville, TX 77341 Huntsville, TX 77340


8. Audience members are not permitted to take pictures or videotape any team’s presentation.


1. EQUIPMENT PROVIDED - Each team must provide all necessary equipment.

2. Each team will conduct a presentation on the issue developed and presented at the local


3. The issue will come from one of the following seven agricultural issue topic areas as listed

in the Focusing on Agricultural Issues instructional materials:

    a. Environmental Issues

    b. Agricultural Technology Issues

    c. Animal Issues

    d. Agricultural Career Issues

    e. Economy and Trade Issues

    f. Agricultural Policy Issues

    g. Food Safety Issues

4. The same agricultural issue presentation and portfolio will not be used at the state level in

subsequent years by the same chapter/advisor.

5. Research on the topic must be current and students must be involved in all the research of

the topic and development of the portfolio.

6. The portfolio should include items described in a, b, and c below, and will be limited to ten

pages single sided or five pages double sided maximum not including cover page and

statement of originality. The cover page will include the title of the issue, name, address

and phone number of the chapter. A maximum of ten (10) points will be deducted for

exceeding the maximum amount of pages and/or for not including the cover page and/or

statement of originality containing required information.

    a. A maximum of two pages of the portfolio will include a summary of the issue,

    answering the questions that are most relevant to your topic. (See example included in

    this publication)

        • List course(s) in which instruction occurred including the number of students

        involved in the instruction of the issue. (See Objective 6.)

        • Why is this issue important now?

        • What is the nature of the issue?

        • Who is involved in the issue?

        • How can the issue be defined?

        • What is the historical background of the issue?

        • What caused the issue?

        • What are the risks?

        • What are the benefits?

        • Is there strong disagreement on how the issue should be solved?

    b. A bibliography of all resources and references cited which may include personal

    interviews and any other supporting material.

    c. Indicate date of area competition and provide documentation that local forum(s)

    occurred prior to state portfolio deadlines:

        Letters from organizations

        News articles

        Photos (3” x 5” or 4” x 6”)


        • Please state when, where and to whom the local forum(s) was presented.

7. Time Limits: Five minutes will be allowed for set up. The presentation will be a maximum

of 15 minutes in length. The presenters will receive a signal at 10 minutes and at 14

minutes. At 15 minutes, the timekeeper will announce that time is up, and the presentation

will end. A maximum of five minutes for questions and answers will be allotted. Questions

and answers will terminate at the end of five minutes. Five minutes will be allowed for

take down.

8. The presentations will be designed to be viewed by the judges. The audience at-large will

not be of concern to the presenters.

9. The judges may ask questions of all individuals of the presenting team. Each individual is

encouraged to respond to at least one question from the judges.


1. Introduction, Pro, Con and Summary (20 points each, 80 points total)

2. Overall presentation (quality and power of the presentations, creativity, stage presence,

participation of each member of the team, although team members may serve as nonpresenting

technician but must answer questions. Such participation shall not impact

participation scores) ( 20 points)

3. Questions (25 points)

4. Portfolio: 10 single sided pages maximum or 5 double sided pages. (Three parts, 25 points


    • Summary of the Issue, 2 pages maximum (5 points).

    • Bibliography (5 points).

    • Documentation of local forums (15 points).

    • Please state when, where, and to whom the local forum(s) was presented.

    • Maximum of 10 points will be deducted for exceeding the maximum number of

    pages and/or not including cover page and/or statement of originality containing

    required information

5. Prior to the event the portfolios will be judged and scored by qualified individuals using the

portfolio score sheet. Portfolio scores will be averaged and supplied to the presentation

judges after they have scored the presentation. Portfolio comment cards will be completed

by portfolio judges and presented to the teams at the awards function. Presentation judges

will be furnished with copies of the team portfolio, which they will use to formulate


6. Judges’ ranking will be used to place teams.

7. Participants shall be ranked in numerical order on the basis of the final score to be

determined by each judge without consultation. The judges’ ranking of each participant

then shall be added, and the winner will be that participant whose total ranking is the

lowest. Other placings will be determined in the same manner (low rank method of



Ties will be broken based on the greatest number of low ranks. Team low ranks will be

counted and the team with the greatest number of low ranks will be declared the winner. If a

tie still exists, then the event superintendent will rank the team’s response to questions. The

team with the greatest number of low ranks from the response to question will be declared the

winner. If a tie still exists then the team’s raw scores will be totaled. The team with the

greatest total of raw points will be declared the winner.


This list of references is not intended to be inclusive. Other sources may be utilized and

teachers are encouraged to make use of the very best instructional materials available. See

National CDE Rules for a list of possible references.





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