MANLIUS — Since September 2011, members of the Bureau Valley FFA have been hard to find — unless you knew where to look. Together they have spent more than 500 combined hours repairing every detail on an antique tractor, donated by the Lewis family, in their shop.
The BV FFA Team entered its 1951 Allis Chalmers in the 2012 Chevron Delo Tractor Restoration Competition. The purpose is to: encourage creativity, technical aptitude, and business knowledge in members of the National FFA Organization.
This year’s team members included Dalton Kepner, Garrett Dabler, Seth Cambron, Kirstyn Ehnle, Thomas Monier, Josh Lewis and Austin McQuarrie.
The process began when the team picked up the Allis-Chalmers and brought it to the high school. Everyone worked together to tear the machine down, sandblast and rebuild. The actual process was of much larger scope than originally envisioned, but proved to be a great experience for learning about the tractor and its’ mechanics. By late spring, the tractor was completed and looking better than ever — thus signifying the start of workbook season.
The team members worked together to create a workbook outlining the restoration process — from mechanical overhaul of the engine, transmission, auxiliary and ancillary systems to the external appearance of the tractor. This is the process the team will be judged on in competition.
Bureau Valley FFA became one of the 24 teams in preliminary judging but will not be advancing as one of the final 12 teams for presentation this year. Not surprisingly, the chapter is still in high spirits as the BV FFA accomplished something greater than a national competition — they created an avenue of unity, friendship and career opportunities.