Students compete in tractor driving

Published 6:07 pm Friday, April 13, 2012

Freeman Ellison from Jemison High School competes in the county’s annual tractor driving contest Friday at LeCroy Career/Technical Center.

Anyone driving by LeCroy Career/Tech Center on Friday couldn’t help but notice John Deere tractors doing some real maneuvering.

The county’s annual tractor driving contest was held Thursday at the center. Students from agriscience programs across the county competed for the right to advance to the district competition.

Wesley Farmer of Jemison High drives a compact tractor.

Jemison teacher Brian Lucas said the competition focuses on skills students are going to use in agriscience careers.

In addition to actually driving the tractor, students are also tested on safety and parts and machinery. The competition gets harder as students advance to district and state levels.

A separate compact tractor contest was added several years ago, and is beneficial for students interested in landscaping and similar jobs.

In addition to the tractor driving, students at the center also competed in a forklifting contest Friday.

The test, which simulated the tight turns of having to operate inside a warehouse, was part of a program that allows students to earn forklift certification.

This is the first year the program has been offered at LeCroy. A grant allowed the center to purchase the forklift.

Skylar Hegwood from Jemison High School competes in a forklift competition Friday among LeCroy students.

Automotive instructor Lee Brown said having the certification gives students another advantage when looking for jobs.

“Every 18-wheeler going down the road has been loaded and unloaded by someone somewhere,” Brown said.

Look for photos of the winners next week.