Students shine at State Fair of Texas ag mechanics show

The Ag Mechanics and Tractor Restoration show featured students from both 4-H and FFA chapters from across the state of Texas. The talent, dedication and effort that went into each and every project is incredible.

A group of six students from New Braunfels FFA created a 16’ aluminum bumper pull stock trailer which they brought to the State Fair of Texas® Ag Mechanics and Tractor Restoration show on October 8.

The group consisted of Chase Nunez, 19, Madi Holmes, 18, Maci Holmes, 16, Keely Johnson, 15, Kaci Johnson, 12, and Russ Meneley, 17. The kids ranged from 7th grade, all the way to freshman year in college at Texas A&M.

The trailer as a whole weighed 1600 pounds and was all aluminum except for a few nuts and bolts. The group put 1500 hours into the project. According to Kaci Johnson, they had never spent that much time together in the past, “We grew as friends and as mechanics! I learned more than I could have ever imagined from the project.”

Madi Holmes, the group leader, explained their initial struggles with the project, “Originally, it was supposed to be a low profile trailer for sheep and goats then the plans got bigger and bigger.”

It turns out that bigger was better for the group’s trailer. After competing at several major shows last spring and being successful, they decided to bring their award winning trailer to the State Fair of Texas. The group had the Reserve Grand Champion project at the Ag Mechanics show this year.

The most unique project at the Ag Mechanics show this year was one from Collins Middle School, Corsicana FFA. Drew Miller, Colton Farmer and Austin Rios created a Wildlife Meat Cooler Trailer that can be used to keep meat cool for 10-12 hours while traveling.

After taking their trailer to all of the major shows in the spring, the boys coined the phrase “giant igloo on steroids” to describe their project.

The trailer is equipped with a deer hoist that attaches to the trailer hitch. The deer hoist has the capability to rotate so that the deer hangs into the trailer and can then be attached to a hook on the ceiling. The hooks are separated with breakers so that you can hang multiple carcasses at once and they won’t move about the cabin while you’re traveling.

The boys came up with the idea after brainstorming with their class. The project was a group effort that the whole school contributed to. The high-density foam used in the walls of the cooler was researched by the math and science departments.

The group wanted to make sure all of the people visiting the exhibit knew the amount of work and contributions Collins Middle School gave them. The group was division champion for the wildlife equipment division.

These groups are two great examples of how Texas FFA and 4-H builds strong leaders and helps to promote agriculture across Texas. Thank you to all the sponsors who donated and exhibitors that competed at the 2013 Youth Ag Mechanics and Tractor Restoration show and good luck in your future endeavors!

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