The 18th annual Blinn College District Agricultural Mechanics Project Show drew 173 entries from 80 schools around the state Wednesday at the W.J. “Bill” Rankin Agricultural Complex.
Richard Lee Schilling of Fayetteville FFA was crowned grand champion for his 1960 John Deere 435 tractor.
“I am really proud to be named grand champion and I am going to try even harder next year,” Schilling said. “I really enjoy these projects. You have to work hard to come out on top. I try to do everything I can to the best of my ability, and I am constantly working to get better each contest.”
Schilling worked on the project for a total of 1,300 hours for seven days each week.
Nicko Chairez, Cesar Lopez, Miguel Aguilar, Victor Mendoza, Payden Duggins, and Jordan Lee from Kerens FFA were named reserve grand champions for their 24 by 6.8-foot cattle trailer.
“Hard work always pays off, and we put a lot of hard work into this,” Lopez said. “It felt really good to know that we actually accomplished something and we got our seniors scholarships.”
Projects are judged on workmanship, design, degree of difficulty, showmanship, and documentation, including photos of each step. Projects include agricultural machinery and equipment, livestock equipment, trailers, barbecue pits, picnic tables, metal and wood furniture, entrance gates, deer blinds, animal traps and horticulture products, engines, and reconditioned tractors and restored equipment. The show also included welding and cutting torch contests.
Sponsors included Appel Ford, Brenham Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, Robs Run Center, Woodson Lumber Company, La Roche Chevrolet, Washington Country Tractor, The Christian Counseling Center, Gajeske Inc., Miller Welding Supply, Prax-Air, Granger, and the Blinn College Alumni and Friends Association.
The Agricultural Sciences Program is roughly four times the size of any other two-year agricultural program in the state and offers agriculture classes on all of its campuses, with the Rankin Agricultural Complex serving as the program’s hub.
In addition to its excellence in the classroom, Blinn offers extracurricular educational activities in the areas of livestock judging, agriculture club, wildlife, agriculture mechanics, horticulture and agriculture sciences.