Texas FFA News  
Member Wins National Tractor Restoration Contest    
Sunday, April 15, 2018 | Author: McKenzie Ellis, Texas FFA News Staff

In October 2016, Corey Verstraeten of Southwest FFA took on the challenge of transforming a pile of rusty parts into an award-winning restored tractor. With some tools, a little elbow grease, and plenty of determination Verstranten brought a 1972 Oliver 1755 back to life. 

“[My tractor] was built in November of 1972 and shipped to a farm in Rose Creek, MN in February of 1973,” Verstraeten said in his competition submission video. “This tractor has traveled a lot of miles before me and traveled plenty with me from show to show.”

Upon completing the restoration, Corey kicked-off the competition season at the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo. He went on to compete at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, State Fair of Texas, and the Hill County District Show where his success earned him an invitation to compete at the 2017 National Delo Tractor Restoration Competition.

All selected finalists competed at the National Finals Competition, held in conjunction with the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, IN. The project was graded on the restoration process, safety precautions, results, documentation and their oral presentation.

“This was the cap to a long career of restoring tractors, as he got his start in the seventh grade and has restored a tractor every year since, making his final count 6 total tractors,” said Matthew Sullaway, Southwest FFA advisor.

Each of the participants are required to complete a workbook that explains the entire restoration process they went through with their tractor. The contestants record the work that is put into the mechanics of the machine as well as the external restoring.

“I’m proud to share its story,” said Verstraeten.

Thanks to his love for antique tractors and drive to tackle challenging projects, Verstraeten claimed the 2017 National Delo Tractor Restoration Competition grand champion title, plus $10,000. 

“We are so incredibly proud of Corey and everything he has accomplished here while with Southwest FFA,” said Sullaway. “I have no doubt that he is going to continue his success through any future endeavors he encounters.” 

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