Petrolia FFA members Jared Richardson and Will Morath competed last week in the tractor restoration division of the Houston Livestock Show Junior Ag Mechanics Contest, entering a 1945 John Deere Model D.
FFA and 4-H members from across the state are eligible to build an ag mechanics project or restore a tractor for the competition. The Tractor Restoration Division is broken down into three classes depending upon the age of the tractor: Class 1 – 1945 models and older, Class 2 – 1946 – 1960 models, & Class 3 – 1961-1990 models.
Richardson and Morath restored the tractor from the frame up over a period of several months.
On Saturday, the second day of judging, the tractor received a blue ribbon. The judging criteria involve several factors including documentation, mechanical work, driving the tractor, finish and originality, and an interview of students’ knowledge. The next morning during the awards presentation, the boys were excited to find out that their tractor placed second in Class 1. The first place tractor in Class 1 ended up being the Grand Champion Tractor. When the Tractor Restoration Division awards were called out, the Petrolia tractor won thirdbest overall tractor. Richardson and Morath ended up winning prizes valued at about $8,500, including Snap-On toolboxes and tools and a couple of Lincoln welders.
Richardson and Morath restored the tractor for Ken Luig of Scotland. This is the second time that they have competed in the Houston Livestock Show Junior Ag Mechanics Contest. Last year they built a cattle trim chute, and placed second in their class.
Richardson and Morath have not yet decided what they will enter next year.