By Reed Boettcher – Great Plains Kubota
Great Plains hosts annual tractor driving contest at the Pontotoc County Fair
This year’s annual tractor driving contest held at the 96th Pontotoc County free fair was a great success. Great Plains Kubota has sponsored this contest for the last three years to teach youth the proper operations of tractor safety. On September eighth members from the local 4-H and FFA participated in the contest for a chance to win a $250 dollar scholarship provided by Great Plains.
The 18 contestants were judged on their ability to safely mount and start a tractor as well as drive and stop safely. The objective was to see how well the contestants could drive a Kubota M5140 and maneuver through a gauntlet of posts in a safe manner. They were graded on factors such as failing to release the clutch smoothly, running in low gear with high engine speeds, and failure to use seat belt. Justin McDaniel, a local OSU Extension Educator, and Great Plains Equipment Sales of Ada Store Manager Garrett Clark acted as judges during the contest. Clark commented on this year’s performance.
“It was good to see so many young people come out and show interest about understanding the operations and safety of tractors. There were actually no participants last year so it was nice to have a good turnout. Everyone did real well. I had to stick to the score sheet strictly to determine the outcome. These kids are the future so it’s important they start out operating the correct way,” said Clark.
This year’s winner was Kade Hayes. Hayes finished with a score total of 149. Hayes executed the required functions with skill and precision. His score was almost 100 points lower than the runner-ups.