Entering the competition for the first time are Chance Morehouse, Jodee Bulter, and Ashtyn Redd. They are all 17 years old and juniors at Central High School.
Sponsored by Hammer Equipment, the Ag Mechanics competition has 5 categories: agricultural machinery & equipment; livestock and poultry equipment; tractor restoration; trailers; and home & recreational use.
Exhibitors can build and enter projects by themselves or as a group for items they built for others or for their own family. Chance Morehouse has entered an outdoor grill that he has built for his family. He says he has added unique features to help his dad when he cooks. Horseshoes will add extra handholds.
Double reeling surface, top bar to hang pots to cook in
Jodee Bulter is building a project that will stay in the ag shop at school when completed. His stand will hold the rod oven stand that keeps rods dry for the arc-welding students.
Ashtyn Redd’s project will be used as a feeder for deer. While most wildlife feeders spread corn or feed that can be consumed by deer, hogs or birds, this feeder will have tubes under it that allows only deer to consume the high protein feed within. Ashtyn’s project is being built for a member of the community.
For the agricultural machinery and equipment, exhibitors can enter hay handling equipment, spraying equipment, mounted and pull- type tractor equipment, hydraulic equipment, shop equipment, and lastly, truck, tractor and agriculture equipment accessories.
If you need equipment for livestock around your farm or ranch, many local FFA chapters build chutes, feeders, chicken coops and more for this division. Those that you see at the Fair are probably already sold, having been ordered months before.
Judging of entered items focuses on workmanship, design, practicality, degree of difficulty, finish, and the notebook that shows their plans, bill of materials and photos.
Among other things, judges expect all projects to be painted or properly treated and must be clean and in a presentable condition even though they may have been used. Trailers and all other equipment are to be displayed in transport position. Ramps, extension and operation of specific features will be demonstrated only as directed by the official judges and as space permits.
The rigorous standards of the law are enforced at this competition. All trailers and other equipment that will be operated and/ or transported on public roads are to be equipped with the safety equipment specified in Title 7, Vehicles and Traffic Transportation Code of Texas Statues. All towed equipment, regardless of standards, is to be equipped with safety chains. All three- point hitch and P. T. O. operated equipment is to meet current ASAE standards and specifications. 120 VAC and higher electrical plugs and receptacles are to be the equipment grounding type.
Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFIC) shall be provided for all 120 VAC receptacles. All 50 VAC and higher connections are to be protected in appropriate indoor or outdoor rated enclosures.
Most importantly, an original (exhibitor produced) plan or drawing, a bill of materials, and photographs showing phases of construction are to be provided with all projects. Not only is this critical to the judging but the others viewing the project later will appreciate seeing the progress made by these students.
One of my favorites is tractor restoration. Limited to full size tractors (no lawnmowers allowed), I get a kick going over the old Massey Ferguson, Ford, John Deere and other restored tractors. With tractor renovations, judges look at the aesthetics, authenticity, mechanical systems, safety equipment, and the documentation that shows the progress of the work. Students in this category will also be interviewed by the judges.
Chance, Jodee, Ashtyn, and the other exhibitors in the Agriculture Mechanics division will compete on Thursday, Feb 26 at 9 am on the floor of the Exposition Center.
For more information about this year’s Fair, go to www.angelinacountyfair.com