TMSG: Girls Restore Tractor to Win First-Ever Competition

Six young women in Krum, home to about 5,000 people northwest of Denton, are the talk of the town and the pride of the Krum ISD.

What they did to earn the praise is Thursday's Tell Me Something Good.

"The girls won Grand Champion Overall Showmanship of the entire San Angelo Ag Mechanics Show!," their teacher, Ishley Elmore, seemed to shout in an email.

What does that mean? In short, the girls took apart an old tractor, cleaned every bit of it from engine to transmission and bolts to belts, cleaned, repaired and replaced all of it, then put it back together.

They were Krum High School's first ever tractor restoration team. And in their first ever competition, they proved they knew what they were doing.

"There were over 900 projects entered from Goosneck Trailers, Patio Furnitures, to tractors, and these six girls won the Public Speaking and Presentation part of the contest... the Showmanship part!!! They won over $2,000 in prizes!!," wrote Elmore.

It was a huge accomplishment for six girls who "may not have known the difference between a flat head and a Philips screwdriver when they started," said Elmore in an article on the Krum ISD website. "Now they talk to you about compression ratio in the engine, the planetary pack in the transmission, and so much more."

Hadley Brooks, Kennedy Brooks, Carlie Carroll, Mogan Grambling, Channing Pieniazek and Claire Shelton enrolled in Elmore's Ag Mechanics class at the start of the school year. They found a classrom with posters showing Elmore from her days back at Decatur High School. Several showed her restoring a tractor and the questions followed.

Elmore told her students about her history-making accomplishment. She was on the tractor restoration team at Decatur High School, the first all-girl team to ever win the national championship title at the Delo Tractor Restoration Competition in 2007. Elmore won another national title on a co-ed team in 2009.

And in that conversation, Krum High School's first ever tractor restoration team made up of all girls and led by a female instructor was born.

The girls got to work on a 1960 FE35 Perkins Diesel tractor in December.

Through the days and weeks, they put in more than 600 hours to get it ready for competition

“This is all of their first year in ag mechanics. They had been around agriculture, but not the mechanics side,” said Elmore in the school article.

It all paid off last weekend in San Angelo when the judges awarded the team Grand Champion Overall Showmanship.

To win the showmanship award, Elmore told NBC 5 the judges look for "confidence, knowledge, enthusiasm and poise while describing and demonstrating their project/tractor with the judges and public (introduction, hand shake, eye contact, clear voice, pleasant attitude, etc.). The exhibitor shows patience and helpfulness when setting up project or tractor for display. Also when dismantling and removing [the] project at end of show.”

More awards could come for the team from Krum. The girls will compete over the next few weeks in the San Antonio, Houston and Denton County Youth Fair Ag Mechanics competitions.

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