Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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February 25, 2014

Old tractor a unique project for Paoli schools

emann@pvdemocrat.com — One man’s trash literally has become a treasure for the Paoli School’s FFA program.

Creating both a lot of educational opportunities and another chance for students to shine was a recent donation of a farm tractor by area resident Roger Patton of Paoli. Since that time going back to October for the Ag power and Tech Course, it has meant motivation for the future for some and at least a better understanding on mechanics for the rest.

“This whole class has kind of been the students that helped with breaking it down,” said Class Instructor Lindsay Pritchard, noting how this is the first time for them working on such an item, though a couple of them have driven a tractor before. “We were all excited about tearing it a part and then we looked at our pile of screws and nut and bolts…. This tractor when they found it, it was sitting in a field and when he gave it to us he knew it would be a challenge for the kids.”

Discussing the project with Pritchard were students Will Stewart, Grub Smith and Katherine Santmyer.  Pritchard noted right away how it is something to do for those who may not be interested in the livestock side of the program. As they have started to better understand the 1955 Ford tractor, they have also been able to learn more about specific parts as well as the tools they are using to restore what was recently just an abandoned piece of machinery.

For Smith, it is a chance to fine-tune skills he has learned working at home and expand them to other types of vehicles. He eventually plans to become a mechanic later and has always enjoyed putting things together again.

“I just like taking things apart, seeing how they work,” said Smith. “Making them work better than they started.”

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