A tradition continues at West Virginia Universitys Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences as faculty, staff and students will welcome over 800 high school students from across West Virginia to the 80th annual State Agriculture Career Development Events Sept. 24-26.

The Career Development Events are an outgrowth of the knowledge that students gain from the classroom, in Future Farmers of America, and through supervised agricultural experience programs,said Stacy Gartin, professor of agricultural and environmental education.

Students will compete for individual and team awards in areas such as agribusiness, plant pathology, floriculture, forestry and 10 other areas of agriculture. The contest will consist of multiple choice tests and hands-on activities which will be judged by the faculty of the Davis College and WVU Extension.

The contests serve as an excellent tool to develop leadership and communication skills,Gartin said, andwinners from the events have the opportunity to compete at the national level.

Career Development Events have been held at WVU since 1921, and have only been canceled twice, two years in a row, due to World War II.

This event brings more prospective students to the WVU campus than just about any other single activity,Gartin noted.

The events will take place at various locations on the Evansdale Campus and at WVU s farms and forests in Monongalia County. The awards ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 26, in the Blue and Gold room located in the Evansdale Residential Complex.

For additional information on the events, visit http://www.caf.wvu.edu/resm/aee/cde/index.html .