Sequim High’s tractor restoration project has been chosen as one the 12 finalists in a national competition sponsored by Delo, Chevron’s premium oil subsidiary. In October the team will travel to Indianapolis, Ind., to make their final pitch to the judges.
The event, held during the 84th National FFA (Future Farmers of America) Convention, will bring together all 12 teams in a head-to-head competition.
The projects will be presented on Oct. 19-20, with the champion crowned on the evening of Oct. 20.
Restoring the tractor, a 1954 Farmall Super C, required $4,000 in parts and almost 400 combined man-hours of labor.
Now the FFA is hoping the tractor — nicknamed “Snort” — is good enough to bring home a national championship.
Shelley Binswanger, the mother of team member Drake Binswanger, said the final test consists of a presentation, a demonstration of mechanical skills and a question-and-answer session.
All of the contestants will present a workbook outlining the entire restoration process, from mechanical overhauls of the engine, transmission and other systems to the external appearance of the tractor.
Binswanger said the team is “working hard to polish up their speaking skills in preparation for the competition and working toward raising the monies needed to attend this event.”
In addition to Drake, the team is comprised of Carson Lewis, Skyler Lewis, Megan Bekkevar and Karl Behrens.
The students actually worked their way into the contest backwards, with FFA sponsor Kristi Short originally seeking an old tractor to serve as a piece of landscape art at the school. Ella Frick, who with her husband, Cy, owns Frick’s Healthcare, Medical Equipment and Photo, had one to spare.
That started the FFA students thinking and soon they decided they would restore it and enter it into the national contest.
Jim Bekkevar donated space and equipment at Bekkevar Farms for the work.
In addition to the mechanical work, the students were required to create a pile of paperwork.
“They have to keep track of their hours, document what was done … and every penny spent,” Short said.
In addition, the students prepared a video about their project.
The top prize is $5,000, with smaller prizes for other finalists. Any award received would be used to support FFA programs at the school.
For more on the competition, see www.delotractorrestorationcompetition.com/
Reach Mark Couhig at firstname.lastname@example.org.