Floresville’s Stratemann makes history in Houston
The Floresville FFA Tractor Restoration team proudly displays the awards won in the 2012 FFA Tractor Technician Contest held March 12 during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Congratulating the Floresville team of Paul Stratemann (third from left), Craig Sumner (fourth from left), and Mathieu Seguin (far right) are (from left) Peyton Gilbert, Texas FFA president; David Stratton, chairman of the Agricultural Mechanics Committee; and Glen Lille, show vice president. The team earned eighth-place overall in the state.
HOUSTON -- After a multipart competition, a Floresville FFA member has made history by receiving the honor of high-point individual in two exams in the state FFA Tractor Technician Contest in Houston. Paul Stratemann of Floresville received the honor of high-point individual in both the component exam and the written exam, marking the first time in contest history that the same individual won both exam divisions. According to Michael Billings, Floresville ag teacher, Paul made the highest scores ever.
The team comprised of Paul, Craig Sumner, and Mathieu “Matt” Seguin won eighth-place overall in the state, according to Billings.
The Houston win follows the team’s winning first in their class and ultimately grand champion honors for their restoration projects during the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo competition, Billings said March 14.
The Hamilton FFA chapter received first place in the state contest at the 2012 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, according to a March 12 Houston Livestock Show and Report press release.
The contest held at the show is the statewide competition for the Texas FFA Association, and only 20 teams qualify each year. The State FFA Tractor Technician Contest began with a 100-question test and a 20-question component exam.
All qualifying teams compete in the first and second rounds of the contest, but only the top 10 teams are eligible for the third round, known as debugging, which consists of physically repairing disabled mechanics on a tractor.
Billings explained that “a service request is given the team listing five mechanical issues with a particular tractor. [The team has] 30 minutes to get the issues fixed and the tractor driven. The team that does this the best and fastest wins.”
David Stratton, chairman of the show’s agricultural mechanics committee, said the contest is extremely beneficial to students who would like to pursue a career in technical programs.
“This contest is a step in the right direction to get a job for one of the major mechanic companies, most of which are present here today,” Stratton said.
Starting in 2012, those who compete in the State FFA Tractor Technician Contest or the Agricultural Mechanic Competition are eligible to apply for one of five Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo scholarships, worth $8,000 each. The scholarships may be used for a two-year technical program or associate degree in a technical field.
The top five teams were awarded an upright toolbox for their high school’s agricultural science program.
The Floresville FFA team was set to compete in the tractor restoration contest March 16 in Houston.