LIMA — Imagine working on a 5075E John Deere tractor and the lights are not working properly.
The power take-off runs for about 20 seconds and shuts off.
Oh, and one more catch is you have 20 minutes to figure out the problem and fix it.
That was one of five scenarios Ohio FFA agricultural power diagnostics students were facing Friday at state of Ohio Agricultural Power Diagnostics CDE contest in the 400 building at the University of Northwestern Ohio Thursday. Fifteen schools from around the state were competing for $75,000 in scholarship money at the event.
“There are five stations and they have to both diagnose and fix the problem in 20 minutes,” said Ohio FFA CDE Coordinator Tom Oglesby. “Each station is challenging for the students.”
Other tasks assigned to the students included a skid loader that would shut down and refuse to restart, another skid loader that wouldn’t start that also had only one of two joysticks working, a tractor with an incorrect PTO speed and a dash that does not work and a Massey-Ferguson 1734E tractor that tries to crank over but will not run and has inoperative flashers.
Two local schools, Vantage Career Center in Van Wert and Coldwater High School, participated in the state competition. Members of the Vantage team each won $5,000 in scholarships for their fourth place finish and Coldwater team members won $3,000 each. Vantage student Daniel Sinn was one of the top finishers in the competition, finishing with a seventh place score of 17.
“We learn a lot at Vantage, and I knew a lot of the basics,” Sinn said. “For the most part, we were able to find all of the problems and fix it.”
Logan Gerding, another member of the Vantage team, said the stations are set up to be real life.
“It is pretty realistic, what you would expect to run into on the job,” Gerding said. “It is a competition, but you don’t really think about it. You just block it out and do what you would normally do.”
Vantage agricultural instructor Mike Miller said the career center breaks its instruction in the field down to four segments, and the focused attention helps the students.
“They get to learn those skill sets and get ready to go work at a facility,” Miller said.
Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or on Twitter @LanceMihm.