Livestock Management


The livestock management event is predominantly a team-based competition with an individualized knowledge based component.  Teams of five (5) students will work together to complete six different species-based (beef cattle, dairy cattle, horse, poultry, sheep, and swine) practicum exams that will test their knowledge regarding the scientific basis and practical application of livestock management concepts related to nutritional management, breeding, genetic, and reproductive management, quality assurance and herd health management, and business management that includes both marketing and product evaluation.  Students may be asked to identify and characterize feed samples, evaluate rations, assign body condition scores, interpret and use genetic information, demonstrate basic quality assurance practices, evaluate and grade products, determine market values of livestock and products, identify and characterize different breeds, and identify, describe, or demonstrate the proper usage of basic equipment, etc., etc., etc.  This is a very comprehensive, but practical and educational CDE for those students who are engaged in the Animal Science industries.


Bryan Reiling
C204 Animal Science
Lincoln, NE 68583-0908

Event Information

Event Schedule:

Date:  Thursday, April 6, 2017

Time: 6:30 AM to 3:30 PM (see table below for more information)

Section 1, Districts 10 - 12:  6:30 AM to 9:00 AM
Section 2, Districts 7 -9:  8:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Section 3, Districts 4 -6:  11:00 AM to 1:30 PM
Section 4, Districts 1 -3:  1:00 PM to 3:30 PM


Event Check-in:  Student Commons, Animal Science Complex
Event Location:  
R.B. Warren Arena, Animal Science Complex

Each team must register to compete within the appropriate section to which their district has been pre-assigned.  Each section may accommodate a total of 14 different teams.  If teams have a scheduling conflict associated with their pre-assigned section, please refer to and follow steps associated with the “Process for Resolving Scheduling Conflicts” that can be found at  As part of this process, teachers are required to find another school who is willing to trade sections, then communicate that change to the CDE administration.  The CDE student coordinators will then inform Dr. Reiling of any scheduling changes prior to the event.

Event Schedule
Section 1Section 2Section 3Section 4
Pre-Assigned Districts 10 - 12 7 - 9 4 - 6 1 - 3
Event Check-in Opens 6:30 AM 8:30 AM 11:00 AM 1:00 PM
Event Instructions 7:00 AM 9:00 AM 11:30 AM 1:00 PM
Event START Time 7:15 AM 9:15 AM 11:45 AM 1:45 PM
Event END Time 9:00 AM 11:00 AM 1:30 PM 3:30 PM

State Rules and Format:

  1.  A livestock management team will consist of five (5) individuals who may work together as a team to answer questions, complete hands-on activities, or solve problems associated with the various species-specific stations.  Although you may work together and visit as a team, please be aware that there will typically be two teams present at each station at the same time.  Teams may also elect to split-up to effectively “divide and conquer” the various activities associated with each station. 

  2. The event will consist of six (6) separate species-specific stations including beef cattle, dairy cattle, horse, poultry, sheep, and swine.  In addition, a 7th individual exam station has been added.  All teams are required to complete all 7 stations.

  3.  Teams will have 13 minutes to complete each station.

  4.  NEW - Starting in 2017, each species station will be assigned a primary disciplinary focus. For that species, all questions, hands-on activities, and problems will based upon and/or related to the assigned disciplinary focus. Each year thereafter, the disciplinary focus will rotate through a four-year cycle as follows:
Rotation of Disciplinary Focus, by species
Species StationYear 1 (2017)Year 2 (2018)Year 3 (2019)Year 4 (2020)
Beef Cattle 2 3 4 1
Dairy Cattle 1 2 3 4
Horse 1 2 3 4
Poultry 2 3 4 1
Sheep 3 4 1 2
Swine 4 1 2 3

1 = Nutritional Management

2 = Breeding, Genetic, and Reproductive Management

3 = Quality Assurance and Herd Health Management

4 = Business Management, Marketing, and Product Evaluation

Thus, in Year 1 (2017), the beef and poultry stations will focus on breeding, genetic, and reproductive management (Focus #2).  The dairy and horse stations will focus on nutritional management (Focus #1).  The sheep station will focus on quality assurance and herd health management (Focus #3), and the swine station will focus on business management, marketing, and product evaluation (Focus #4).  Then, in Year 2, the focus of each species station will rotate to a new focus as identified in the table above.  Same would be true for Year 3 and Year 4.  Thus, after a four-year cycle, each species will have provided a focus on nutrition, breeding/genetics and reproduction, herd health, and business/marketing management.

Although questions and activities for a given species will have one disciplinary focus, an attempt will be made to address management of that discipline (i.e., nutrition) from both applied (including basic, related hands-on skills) and scientific perspectives.

Objectives of the event modification include 1) reduction in redundancy between species stations (i.e., not having to identify soybean meal at 4 different stations), 2) to reduce the redundancy of stations from year to year, 3) to enhance learning and ease of event preparation by providing focus to each species station, and 4) to enhance learning by allowing for more potential depth of study with greater focus.

5.   NEW – Starting in 2017, to facilitate your team’s preparation for the Livestock Management Event, a series of one-hour webinars has been scheduled to provide an overview of each of the disciplinary-focused species stations.  These webinars will identify, in general, what your students should know; provide example or possible problems to be solved, sample scenarios to work through, potential listing of items to identify or characterize, etc.  In addition, a listing of easily accessible, inexpensive resources (i.e., extension publications) will be provided for each that may be used for study and preparation.  All webinars will be recorded and posted to the CDE website so you may access the information at any time, even if you are unavailable for the live webinars.

Webinar Dates - Webinar Schedule (All webinars to be conducted from 4-5 pm)

To join these Zoom webinars, please click this link:

If you can’t connect via Zoom or are having audio issues, you can dial-in by calling 415-762-9988 and entering Meeting ID 718-293-4560.  It’s preferred that you connect via the link above using a computer or tablet so you can see the screen and participants.

              In addition, next fall, another set of webinars will be provided to focus on the disciplinary focus assigned to each species station for Year 2 (2018).  We will continue to provide these webinars each year thereby creating a “library” of educational and preparatory recordings specifically related to this event.

              6.   NEW – Per recommendation of FFA advisors associated with the Livestock Management CDE “revision subcommittee”, an “individual” assessment station will be added as a 7th station within the event. 

              1. Each member of each team will be given an individual 20-point multiple choice exam.
              2. Contestants will have 13 minutes to complete the exam.
              3. Exam questions will equally represent each of the 6 species.  For example, if there are 30 questions, 5 questions will relate to each of the 6 different livestock species (beef, dairy, horse, poultry, sheep, and swine).
              4. Exam questions will function to test students’ overall knowledge of our animal agriculture industries including history, current production levels, trends and issues, etc.
              5. Team member’s individual scores will be added together for the team score (100 pts)

                              i.   Teams of less than 5 may compete, but they are at a competitive disadvantage For example, a team of 4 would have a score of 0 included and their maximum team score would be 80 rather than 100.

               7.  Each station is worth 100 points; 700 pts total.

              8.  The majority of this event will be conducted in the livestock arena (sand floor), and most stations will involve some direct contact with livestock, horses, or poultry.  Students should dress appropriately.

              9.  Supplementary notes or materials are NOT allowed and may result in the disqualification of your team from competition.

              10.  Use of cell phones (including the calculator function) and other electronic communication devices is NOT allowed during the competition and may result in the disqualification of your team from competition.

              Required Supplies

              1. Writing utensils - pen or pencil (ideally, everyone on the team should have a writing utensil).
              2. Clipboards – at least 1 or 2 per team (ideally, everyone on the team would have a clipboard).

              3. All other items needed for the event will be provided … including calculators.



              Beef Cattle - 100 points

              Dairy Cattle - 100 points

              Horse - 100 points

              Poultry - 100 points

              Sheep - 100 points

              Swine - 100 points

              Individual Exam (5 team members; 20 pts each) - 100 points

              Overall Team Score and Ranking is based upon the total of all scores across all seven (7) stations = Beef + Dairy + Horse + Poultry + Sheep + Swine + Individual Exam Scores


              1. Within each species, the faculty coordinator or event superintendent will identify a specific question or set of questions, prior to start of the event, as the “tie-breaker” for that species.

              2. For Overall,

                1. 1st tie-breaker will be the highest average score of all 5 team members on the individual exam.  If a team competes with only four team members, the 5th test will receive a score of zero; the same would be true for the 4th test of a 3-member team.
                2. 2nd tie-breaker will be the more desirable average team RANK across all stations.

              References/Study Information

              References and study information will be given at a later date.