Education

BEA students restore tractor for Pa. Farm Show

Alex Eagles and Nick Smith work on cleaning and wire wheeling a section of the tractor to be repainted during class on Dec. 15. Bald Eagle Area students are working on refurbishing a tractor for a competition at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.
Alex Eagles and Nick Smith work on cleaning and wire wheeling a section of the tractor to be repainted during class on Dec. 15. Bald Eagle Area students are working on refurbishing a tractor for a competition at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. adrey@centredaily.com

When Alex Eagles heard his teacher was looking for an old tractor to use for a class project, the Bald Eagle Area sophomore knew exactly where to turn.

His family.

Eagles, of Boggs Township, said his father purchased a 1959 International Harvester Cub Lo-Boy tractor. He bought it in 1995 from a family who previously bought it in the ’80s from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Eagles said he thinks PennDOT purchased it from the original owners.

But it was last used on his family’s small production farm on Moose Run Road until about five years ago.

It’s just been sitting around, and I think they always wanted to fix it up so this was the perfect chance

Alex Eagles, BEA sophomore

“It’s just been sitting around, and I think they always wanted to fix it up so this was the perfect chance,” Eagles said.

About 20 students in agriculture mechanics teacher Jade Thompson’s class have been working since the first week of October to give the tractor a cosmetic lift.

It’s all part of a project they plan to complete for the Tractor Restoration Competition next week at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

“We’ve been to the Farm Show before, but this is all new for us,” Thompson said. “It’s just finding something new to keep up with interest in our students.”

Competition requires all tractors to be from 1960 or earlier

Tractors selected for restoration competition must have been manufactured no later than 1960, according to event requirements.

Students are then required to document the progress of the tractor’s restoration, the condition it was in when the class received it and prepare a statement on the tractor’s history.

A short video was also submitted.

Once at the Farm Show, students give a presentation on the tractor and their progress to the final restoration.

It’s not just about getting your hands dirty. It encompasses oral presentations, audio/visual presentation and of course physically working to get it restored

Jade Thompson, BEA ag teacher and FFA adviser

“It’s not just about getting your hands dirty,” Thompson said. “It encompasses oral presentations, audio/visual presentation and of course physically working to get it restored.”

The tractor was originally red. When PennDOT took ownership, it was painted yellow. But when a family bought it from the state, it was repainted red.

“It was in such bad condition, we needed to get it pressure washed,” Thompson said.

But some students said the bulk of the work is all about getting out the rust, taking off the paint and freeing the motor from grease and grime.

Goal is to restore 1959 tractor to its original look

“It’s a long process, but we want to get all that off so we can restore it to its original condition,” Eagles said.

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo

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