The S&S Consolidated Independent School District FFA recently took seven students to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Ag Mechanics Project Show.

J.R. Buchanan, Emily Field, Jerry Jackson, Matt Billmeier, Haley Walker and Chance Pittner received a blue ribbon and took second place for their Hay Spike in the Goose-neck Float Trailer class.

One student in junior FFA, Hayden Mowrey, built an excavator grapple which earned a blue ribbon and took fourth place in the Mounted Tractor Equipment class.

There were over 800 projects from 285 schools state-wide that entered the show, which sees all schools compete together regardless of size.

“These students have worked very hard,” FFA advisor Warren Maher said. “(They have) spent countless hours after school and on weekends to build these projects. Their hard work and excellent skills paid off with the thousands of dollars worth of prizes they brought home.”

He said divisions for contest entries are agricultural equipment, livestock equipment and trailers. Maher explained how members of the show’s agricultural mechanics contest committee solicit additional prizes from the community for the contest. Those prizes are in addition to the plaques and ribbons awarded to the most outstanding projects. He said this year’s prizes were worth an estimated $250,000.

“The show looks like a high end Ag equipment dealership,” Maher said. “Many projects combined complicated mechanics, electrical wiring and hydraulics held together by strong welds and paint jobs that look like they belong on a sports car.”