A successful 2023 UMN Winter Invitational

January 4, 2024
Students race minnows at the 2023 Winter Invitational.
Students race minnows at the 2023 UMN Winter Invitational

Since the late 1990s, the UMN Winter Invitational has been hosted on the U of M Twin Cities St. campus in St. Paul, offering Career Development Event (CDE) and Leadership Development Event (LDE) competitions for Minnesota FFA members. Initially organized by CFANS student groups, over time, the scope of the event has expanded, requiring coordination and involvement from programs, departments, and student organizations across the college. Prior to Covid, this event drew robust numbers of Ag Ed teachers and FFA members. Since 2019, however, the Winter Invite experience has only been virtual. Hosted on December 14, the event was reinitiated in 2023 and more opportunities were added for teacher and FFA member engagement.

This year the Winter Invitational offered three CDEs: Companion Animal Science, Floriculture and Fish & Wildlife and five LDEs: Creed Speaking, Prepared Public Speaking, Extemporaneous Speaking, Chapter Conduct of Meetings, and Parliamentary Procedure, as well as Best Informed Greenhand. In all, nearly 800 FFA members representing almost 70 FFA chapters from across Minnesota participated.

New this year, a number of resources, activities and events (ranging from Admissions, student organizations, and Greek life tables, to minnow races, kombucha sampling, live insects, and a water bar) were offered at an event called “A Taste of CFANS” in the Northstar Ballroom. Congratulations to the winning individuals and teams, and A HUGE thank you to all who attended and those who made these events possible!