Thomas cruises to FFA tractor operator's win PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN | Sentinel Farm Editor   
Tuesday, 06 August 2013 09:49
Jack Hagemeyer of Elmwood during the FFA Tractor Operators contest. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Jack Hagemeyer of Elmwood during the FFA Tractor Operators contest. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Ben Thomas of Otsego FFA made the two courses look easy as he handily won the annual Tractor Operators Contest last Tuesday at the Wood County Fair.

Each area FFA chapter is invited to send two representatives to compete by manipulating a two-wheeled manure spreader through an obstacle course and hooking up to and transferring a hay wagon from one "shed" to another.

This was the third year Thomas competed in the event and said that was an advantage for him.

"I was very comfortable," Thomas said. "I knew what I had to do."

He also said the he regularly does similar tasks on the family farm.

In this event low score wins based on both safety, skill and time to complete the two courses. Points are added for errors, having to reposition the tractor by reversing direction during the manipulation of either piece of equipment.

Thomas totaled 484 points combined for the two pieces of equipment. Mason Apple of Bowling Green FFA was second with 945.5 points. Jack Hagemeyer of Elmwood FFA finished third with 1,396 points. Caleb Baus, also of Otsego, narrowly missed the third-place trophy at 1,404 points. Harold Dippman, Eastwood FFA, was fifth at 1,906. The top three finishers each received a trophy and rosette; while the fourth and fifth place finishers each received ribbons.

Alex Wynn of BG during the FFA Tractor Operators contest. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Alex Wynn of BG during the FFA Tractor Operators contest. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)

Apple said most of his challenges were with the wagon.

"It was hard getting it straight and being able to back it straight," Apple said.

The tractor is parked outside the "sheds" or designated parking areas set up to simulate backing the wagon into a barn.

The youth drivers had to manipulate the tractor by backing into the shed and attaching the wagon, They then had to pull the wagon out, reposition the wagon and back it into the adjacent shed.

Hagemeyer said the 2-wheel course was not bad, but the wagon "was by far the hardest for me."

This was also the first year for him to compete in this event.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 August 2013 12:25
 

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