On May 7th, 2019 the first ever FFA Maple Career Development Event (CDE) was held at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont. A CDE is a competition that is designed to test skill development and prepare students for careers in the particular area of focus. CDEs are held for many different disciplines such as forestry, tractor driving, and dairy handling. The CDE’s are often used by high school career and technical centers as a way to assess students’ knowledge and compare results between schools that are teaching similar material. Additionally, CDE’s serve as a way for students to build their credentials, with students often including their CDE experience on their resumes.
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This manual was developed primarily for use by Vermont Career and Technical Center educators and students. It can be used as a reference as students learn about aspects of sugarbush management and syrup production. Biology, chemistry, math, history, and the culture of maple syrup making can enrich the educational experience as well as provide technical skills for students interested in working in the maple industry. The overall goal of the manual is to create consistency in the sugaring techniques that are taught throughout Vermont and as a guide to prepare students for the Vermont Maple Career Development Event. This manual can also be a valuable resource for anyone interested in sugaring, from the back-yard sugar maker to a new employee joining an established maple syrup producer.