Preparing Tomorrow’s Agricultural Leaders through the Delo Tractor Restoration Competition

by on October 27, 2015 1 Comment

TRC20th CLM image

Webster’s defines a mechanical lubricant as: a substance, such as oil or grease, used for minimizing friction, especially in an engine or component.

One way that Chevron is helping to “minimize the friction” of young people entering the job market is by helping instill the skills and training in high school that will help them in their future careers in agriculture. The Delo® Tractor Restoration Competition (TRC) is one way that Chevron is doing just that.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Delo TRC was established in 1995 as a contest to recognize and reward the creativity, technical aptitude and business knowledge of high school-aged students from around the country. However, to label this program as just another competition would be selling it short.

 

Preparation for the Real World

Rick Elmore of Dubiski Career H.S. FFA stated it best when he said: “This is not a competition to us, but related directly to our careers. It prepares us for the real world. There is nothing better than the Delo TRC to prepare kids for the real world.”

Through the restoration of an antique tractor, participants develop skills applicable to the modern business world. The skills needed for success in the program include: equipment maintenance, teamwork, project and time management, budgeting, planning, and marketing. All of these life skills enable them to become future leaders in the agriculture community. Hundreds of TRC participants have converted the skills they learned through this program into a career they love.

“Our students have gone on to a variety of careers including one joining John Deere and another discovering through the tractor restoration she wanted to be a journalist and is now an award-winning journalist in Lubbock, TX,” said David Howell, Cotton Center FFA.

You may have read about Tabetha (Salsbury) Hammer, winner of the 2003 and 2004 Delo TRC, in a previous blog post. She stated: “Most important is how TRC changed my life. The competition was the first step on my path to a college education and a career. It helped me develop teamwork, project and budget management, planning, public speaking, marketing and other business skills.”

 

Crowning a Grand Champion

This week, the nation’s top 12 teen tractor restoration specialists will be competing for the national title in the 2015 Delo TRC finals in Louisville, KY – during the 88th National FFA (Future Farmers of America) Convention. The 2015 finalists will present their projects to a panel of five seasoned tractor restoration judges. Each project will be graded on the restoration process, safety precautions, results, documentation and the contestant’s oral presentation.

The winner will be crowned on 10/29 at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY and receive $10,000. However, as the 2014 TRC Grand Champion, Cody Garrett pointed out: the true prize is much more than just money. It is the opportunity to learn a trade, the ability to build a community around you, the camaraderie of working as a team and the skills that can be transferred to the next phase of life.

“The Delo TRC has done more to prepare young students than anything we have done in school,” added Elmore. “There is nothing else that compares with this!”

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  1. john67kissel@hotmail.com' John Kissel says:

    This is a great program, as it is very important to know how to do stuff. No matter what, skills like engine/drive train repair, painting,welding, machining get used in all types of industry, and even at home, not just farming.Not everybody is born rich or has a pile of money, and the sense of accomplishing something is great. Hey, you have a flat tire at home and need to get somewhere, it sure is good to be able to fix it yourself instead of waiting on someone. Also the “Kulture” of this Country has changed and not for the good, as the way my generation learned about alot of stuff was working at gas stations which is just not way now. It sure was nice to work on a new Tri-Power GTO and burn up some Sunoco 260, can’t say the same about this new stuff. John Kissel

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