The 2022 FFA Tractor Operator’s Contest was won by Jesse Sundermeier of Eastwood FFA. Carter Foos of Eastwood FFA was second, followed by Gregory Wise of Elmwood FFA, third. Tanner Pennington of Elmwood FFA was fourth and Wyatt Bechstein of Bowling Green FFA was fifth. Eddie Eschedor (BG) and Tommy Curtis (Penta) also participated in the contest.
The contest is a favorite of fairgoers who watch FFA members attempt to drive and back two and four-wheeled farm implements through an obstacle course.
The contest consists of three areas. In the two wheeled event, the contestant must drive a tractor and manure spreader out of a shed, back down a 50-foot alleyway and then manipulate the unit through a series of stakes without touching them.
In the four-wheeled event, the contestant must back a tractor up to a wagon and drop in a hitch pin without moving either the tractor or wagon by hand. Then the wagon is pulled forward with the tractor and backed into a different shed. Both of these events are timed. The third area is safety, where contestants are penalized for any safety infractions during the operation of the tractor and implements.
Trophies for the top three places were sponsored by the Ed and Denise Foos Family. Kenn-Feld Group furnished the tractors, the Hoile/Hanna family furnished the wagon, the Eastwood and Otsego FFA Chapters furnished the course markers, and the BG Agricultural Education Department furnished the manure spreader. Judges for the contest were Jacob Brown, Mark Wensink, Tom Stearns and Josh Isaacson.