Megan Bekkevar and Skyler Lewis inspect the block of the 1954 Farmall tractor the Sequim FFA Club members are restoring. When the work is completed, the tractor will be entered into a national competition. Sequim Gazette photo by Mark Couhig
Sequim students take up tractor restoration challenge
By MARK ST.J. COUHIG
FFA members at Sequim High are shooting for a national championship … in tractor restoration.
Delo, Chevron’s premium oil subsidiary, sponsors the annual Tractor Restoration Contest, drawing contestants from across the country.
The judging will take place in September. That may seem like a long time from now, but the local students still have hundreds of hours of work ahead of them. Their restoration project — a 1954 model Farmall Super C — is now in dozens of pieces in one of the barns at the Bekkevar Farm.
FFA sponsor Kristi Short said most of the students that they are competing with are doing the work in the classroom during the school day. That’s a luxury the Sequim students don’t enjoy. Instead they’re devoting weekday evenings and frequent Saturdays to accomplish the work on their own time.
The students actually worked their way into the contest backwards. Short first sought an old tractor to serve as a piece of landscape art at the school. Ella Frick, who with her husband, Cy, owns Frick’s Healthcare, Medical Equipment and Photo, had one to spare. She donated the tractor — nicknamed “Snort” — and it was moved to the school. That started the FFA students thinking and soon they decided they would restore it and enter it into the national contest.
Jim Bekkevar donated space and equipment at Bekkevar Farms where the work is under way. Bekkevar, an old hand at tractor restoration, loves the idea. “I was pretty enthusiastic when Ms. Short told me about it. I wish they had it when I went to school.”
Down to brass tacks
The work is long and arduous. In addition to the mechanical work, the students are dealing with a pile of paperwork. “They have to keep track of their hours, document what was done … and every penny spent,” Short said.
All of that information and more is filed in “a huge binder” that will serve as their official entry form.
They also will produce a two- to three-minute video on the project.
If the Sequim entry is chosen as one of the 10-12 finalists, the team members will travel to Indianapolis, Ind., to make their final pitch to the judges. That consists of a presentation, a demonstration of mechanical skills and a question-and-answer session.
The top prize is $5,000, with smaller prizes for other finalists. Any award received would be used to support FFA programs at the school,
Short said the students would like to gather details on the tractor’s history to include in their presentation. Those who may be familiar with the tractor should contact Short at firstname.lastname@example.org with any information.
Reach Mark Couhig at email@example.com.
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