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Local high school students win tractor restoration competition 

2021 first-place winner Shane Brennan

2021 first-place winner Shane Brennan

Winning tractors from 2020 and 2021 shown at Mid-State Fair

–On July 22, the three winners of the 2021 JB Dewar’s Tractor Restoration Education Program Competition were honored at the Cattlemen’s Dinner at the California Mid-State Fair. The competition includes students from San Luis Obispo County who spend over 300 hours restoring tractors; this year, eight students competed.

Tractor restoration participants.

Templeton High School student Shane Brennan, who finished his junior year, won first place for his 963 hours restoring a 1952 Farmall Super AV. Second place was awarded to John Paul Schmidt, who finished his freshman year at Templeton High School, and his 1940 Allis Chalmers Model B, totaling 334 hours of work. Annika Jensen, who is homeschooled, came in third place with her work on a 1964 Massey Ferguson 135, amounting to 624 hours.

Casey Havemann with his restored tractor.

In 2020, the competition had ten students compete and this year, the 2020 tractors were displayed alongside the 2021 tractors at the California Mid-State Fair in the Stockyard Pavilion. The 2020 first-place winner was recent Atascadero High School graduate Casey Havemann with his 1958 Case Terratrac 320. Second place went to Josh Jorgensen, who finished his sophomore year at Atascadero High School, for his 1941 McCormick Deering O4. Ben Foxford, who finished his junior year at San Luis Obispo High School, placed third for his 1961 Massey Ferguson 35 Diesel.

“There is more to the competition than the actual tractor. Our program actually consists of three equally weighted parts – the actual tractor restoration, a record book documenting what they learned, as well as logging time and money spent, and an eight to ten-minute oral presentation to the judges and opportunity for the judges to ask them questions,” said Rachel Dewar, the Tractor Restoration Education Program Coordinator.

The first-place winners receive $4,000, second place receives $3,000, and third place receives $2,000. In addition to the prize money, all contestants receive jackets, buckles, and the opportunity for scholarships.

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