ARCANUM – When the Arcanum Miami Valley Career Technology Center ag ed program started in 2016, no one knew exactly what to expect.
Now two years later it is clear not only have the student bought into the program but they are ready to compete.
One example is the Ohio FFA Association’s Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems Career Development Event. In this contest students demonstrate knowledge and technical skill development in agricultural engineering technology and mechanical systems. Different areas of the contest include machinery and equipment, electricity, compact equipment, structures and environmental and natural resources.
The contest begins with an online test including 75 general knowledge questions and 25 problem solving questions. The top 10 teams on the online test then move to the state finals, which is all hands on.
For the 2017 contest the team from Arcanum was seventh in the state and qualified for the state finals.
The problem then arose that Arcanum did not have an ag shop to properly prepare the students for the hands on finals. By making due with limited options in the classroom and the support of generous community members like Dusty Walker taking them into his home shop, they were able to learn the skills needed to compete.
During the state finals the team members competed in welding, electrical wiring, equipment operation, construction and hydraulics.
After the 2017 state finals the team (Alex Weiss, Cole Beck, Ethan Garbig and Levi Walker) found themselves in fifth place and bringing a banner home to Arcanum.
It was this student interest and success the helped highlight the need to construct the facilities required to give student the well-rounded agriculture education they deserved.
The Arcanum-Butler Local School District is currently in the process of collecting donations and planning a new multi-purpose building, which will house the new ag shop, greenhouse and classroom. When the remaining money is raised and the building is complete they will then have the appropriate space and equipment to properly train student in the different ag mechanics areas.
Anyone who is interested in the building project or would like to find ways to help can visit the school’s website at www.arcanum-butler.k12.oh.us.
Even though the construction of the shop space is still on the horizon, current Arcanum MVCTC FFA members worked diligently preparing for this year’s Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems Contest.
The 2018 team members are Cael Gostomsky, Levi Walker, Ethan Garbig, Alex Weiss, Cole Beck, Jacob Osswald, Blayne Hess, Braden Garbig, Brody Williams, Isaac Smith, Austin Stephens, Laney Fourman, Zachary Ullery and Raymond Denniston. These members put countless hours into learning the details of each area and practicing different problem solving question.
After taking the online portion of the contest on April 25 the team from Arcanum is currently in first place with an outstanding 84 point lead over the second place team. The team was led by Cael Gostomsky who currently sits in first place as an individual along with Levi Walker, Ethan Garbig, Alex Weiss and Cole Beck who are all currently in the top eight individually in the state.
The team will once again be working to prepare themselves for the state finals in September but look forward to the day that they will have their own shop space in Arcanum to do so.