(WACO, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s Diesel Equipment Technology program hosted on Thursday the Texas FFA Association Tractor Technician Career Development Event featuring 10 high schools from North and Central Texas.
In the Texas FFA Association’s Area 5 consisting of North Texas schools, Wolfe City High School placed first while Denton High School finished second and Rayburn High School in Ivanhoe finished third.
“This was really the first time we have ever come to a tractor technician competition and our coach told us what to do in precheck,” said Austin Ferguson, 17, a junior at Wolfe City High School. “We checked the oil, checked the fluids and tire pressure and started looking for bugs.”
In the Texas FFA Association’s Area 8 consisting of Central Texas high schools, , Elkhart High School finished first while Teague High School placed second and Midway High School finished third.
“We did not want to get too cocky,” said Jacob Mims, a junior at Elkhart High School. “It was a learning experience. This is what we want to do the rest of our lives.”
Mims said the team was going to celebrate with Mexican food, and later on, a steak dinner.
The top team from each area will compete in a state FFA tractor technician competition to be held in March at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
In addition, Elkhart High School’s team along with the contest’s three individual overall high scorers all received TSTC scholarships.
Teams of three students took a written test and did a parts identification test. The students performed a troubleshooting exercise on John Deere and Kubota tractors donated for the competition by United Ag & Turf and Tipton International, both in Waco. Students drove the tractors once the teams found and repaired the problems.
TSTC’s Diesel Equipment Technology program instructors and students created the problems the high school students found in the tractors and served as contest judges.
Will Allison, 19, of Teague is a Diesel Equipment Technology major at TSTC. He competed in the tractor competition as a student at Teague High School and served Thursday as a judge.
“It feels kind of cool because I know all the bugs,” Allison said. “It’s fun to watch the students find them.”
Allison said he wanted the high school students to leave with a better understanding of how to use heavy equipment manuals.
For more on the Texas FFA Association, go to texasffa.org.
For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu.