Agriculture Students Across the State Flock to San Angelo for Ag Mechanics
SAN ANGELO, TX-- Students who participate in the of the Future Farmers of America from high schools across the state flocked to the Spur Arena on Wednesday for the Ag Mechanics show at the 86th annual San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo.
Students from as far as West Sabine High School in deep east Texas showed up to put their hard work on display in categories such as Bumper Pull Trailers, Gooseneck Trailers, Agricultural Machinery & Equipment, Livestock & Wildlife Equipment, Home Convenience, Outdoor Cooking, Tractor Restoration and Equipment Restoration.
The students from West Sabine were showing off their 30-foot gooseneck trailer on Wednesday.
"It's always fun coming up [to San Angelo]," said West Sabine student Hunter Jacks. "We worked 342 hours on this trailer. There were a lot of long nights.
Two teams in the Tractor Restoration category stole the show.
The Grape Creek High School FFA, led by senior Wesley Robertson, put a 1961 Farmall 560 tractor on display at the show after six months of work, including weekends, were put in to the restoration.
"When we first got the tractor, we made sure to take pictures of everything it had," Robertson said. "That way, when we go to put it back together, we know where everything goes. Then we started taking sheetmetal off and pulling stuff, little accessories, we started pulling those off so we could get down to the base and sand blast it. We started in the middle of September. We're not done with our hour log, but we've got about six months in it."
The team of Jacob Meis and Cody and Weston Tschirhart from Medina Valley High School drew a crowd with their 1971 Case 970 Black Knight tractor.
"We did an Oliver last year and we knew we wanted to go bigger this year," Meis said. "We heard from some local farmers this year asking if we had a project this year. We were like "No, we're still looking." They told us this tractor was over by their farm. We tracked down the owner and, sure enough, it was a Black Knight."
Thanks to generosity from the owner, the trio truly got the tractor for a steal.
"The lady was nice enough and actually donated the tractor," Meis said. "It was her husband's and he passed away a few years ago. She was like "I really want to see that tractor done." It was a true bargain find. It only had 3,000 hours on the tachometer and hadn't started up in about ten years. So we said 'let's do it!' It started right up when we turned it over."
There were only 21 Black Knight tractors manufactured by Case from 1969 to 1978, making it one of the more rare entries at the Spur Arena. Cody, Weston's brother, was the lone freshman on the team with Jacob and Weston both being seniors.
Jeffrey Hopper, a junior from Uvalde, was showing off a unique smoker he had made with donated parts from a broken motor.
"The motor theme came from the guy I built it for. He does mechanic work on the side," Hopper said. "He had a broken piston and a cracked block in a 350 motor. He brought it to me and I tore it all down."
The parts were used to make handles and levers on the smoker.
Judges were making their rounds throughout the arena to decide who will make it to the final round of judging. Winners will be announced at 9 am Thursday morning.