WILMINGTON — Wilmington High School’s FFA students have once again proven to be among the area’s best after finishing in first place during a recent District AG and Industrial Diagnostics competition held at JD Equipment in Wilmington.
On hand for the competition were students from East Clinton, Eastern Brown, Fairfield, Georgetown, Hillsboro, Lynchburg-Clay, Miami Trace, Talawanda, and Wilmington High Schools, the Greene County Career Center, and the Ohio Valley Career and Technical Center.
Two-person teams representing each school rotated through six stations, where an assortment of John Deere tractors had been “bugged” with malfunctions that compromised the equipment’s operation and performance.
Upon entering each new station, students reviewed a service order detailing the problematic symptoms that would require a diagnosis that in a real-world setting would lead to service and/or repair. Each team was given 20 minutes to investigate the machinery and make its diagnosis before rotating to the next station, where the team would repeat the process.
At the end of the day, it was WHS senior Matt Keiter and junior Nick Battrell who earned a score of 217 points, landing them in first place, followed by Greene County CC with 197 points and Ohio Valley CTC with 186 points — far above the average score of 154.45.
In order to prepare for competitions, students participate in labs as part of their mechanical engineering class where they work on shop projects throughout the year and learn the skills needed to not only enter competitions, but to assist the school, area farmers, teachers, businesses and several individuals in the community.
According to Wilmington FFA advisor Doug Reinhart, students have spent five months preparing for district and state competitions and have been fortunate to not only work with JD Equipment but also Bane-Welker Equipment, Croghan Auto Care, Mayer Agri Equipment, Snyder Farms, and Vandervort Farms in Wilmington, Bobcat Enterprises in Mt. Orab, and Roberts Trucking in Port William.
Following their big win, members of the WHS FFA team automatically advanced to the state level and are now preparing for the state competition scheduled for March 4 at the University of Northwestern Ohio in Lima, where a total of 16 teams from throughout the state will compete for bragging rights.
The competitors will tour the campus and attend a special banquet the afternoon and evening prior to the competition, which will begin early the following morning with results and awards given later that day.
A second team from WHS is awaiting final state results to determine if they, too, will qualify for the March 3 competition.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.