There is something about an antique tractor that stops you right in your tracks. Maybe it is the fact that it has worked countless hours and yet still runs like a champ. Maybe it is all the memories that the old tires hold. Maybe, just maybe, it is the fact that an old piece of machinery can teach young FFA members good life lessons. That is exactly what happened at the Pennsylvania Farm Show during its antique tractor restoration event.
Every year the Pennsylvania Farm Show hosts an Antique Tractor Restoration competition for the state’s FFA members. During this competition, FFA members are challenged to find and restore a tractor that was manufactured in 1975 or earlier and has an internal combustion engine. This project allows high school students to learn and practice skills for their potential careers.
The FFA members had to do more than just restore an antique tractor. First when acquiring the tractor, they are encouraged to find out the history of the antique tractor including where it came from. Sometimes these tractors can be in families for generations, or it sits in a field until it is needed once again. While on their journey to restore the tractor, FFA members are encouraged to document the process with videos. The FFA member also has to keep an SAE/AET recordbook that documents the process/skills learned.
Finally, after all the mechanical work, painting, and preparation is complete, students must put together a 15-minute presentation. This should highlight the tractor’s story and the multiple steps members took to get the tractor restored.
At the 2022 Pennsylvania Farm Show, four FFA chapters competed in the restoration event: Central Mountain FFA, Danville FFA, Eastern Lebanon County FFA, and Mifflinburg FFA. Every chapter received a $200 premium and $600 from Lancaster Farming and the Friends of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Foundation Inc. For every award they won, the chapter also won a plaque along with $250.
Central Mountain FFA Chapter — 1952 Farmall Cub
Beginning in January of 2020, FFA members started to repair their tractor. After endless hours of hard work and dedication, they won the Most Authentic and Best Video with their 1952 Farmall Cub. See their video below.
Danville FFA Chapter — 1951 Farmall Super C
In a tight competition online, Danville FFA won the People’s Choice Video Award with a 1951 Farmall Super C. In their restoration efforts, the students were able to totally rebuild the engine and spent hours getting the tractor ready to paint. Their efforts paid off after they won the People’s Choice Video.
Mifflinburg FFA Chapter — 1959 International 660 Gas
Mifflinburg FFA Chapter brought home the Most Improved Award. Mifflinburg FFA said on Facebook, “We are proud to share the efforts of Ethan Hauck on the restoration of his International tractor. Along with the help from several other students in last year’s Ag Mechanics classes, Ethan totally restored a 660 International tractor, beginning in the ag shop and finishing it at home.”
Eastern Lebanon County FFA Chapter — 1963 John Deere 3010
The Eastern Lebanon County FFA Chapter was a big winner with the Best of Show, Best Presentation and Best Recordbook. The School District took this opportunity to praise its students for their hard work.
“We have a dedicated group of students who have entered a tractor into the FFA tractor restoration competition at the Farm Show this year (they’ve been working on it for 2 years!). Each year the Lancaster Farming posts student-created videos of the restoration process for each team that entered the competition,” the district said on Facebook.
These Pennsylvania FFA members accomplished quite the project for their tractor restorations. Not only were they able to completely take these tractors apart and restore them to their original condition, they also learned many life lessons in the meantime. Congratulations to these chapters and its members for their accomplishments.