Rockville students win district tractor contest

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon - posted Thu., May. 19, 2011
Students competed in tractor-driving events, and had to complete certain tasks. Photos courtesy of RHS Agriscience/Kim Alzak. - Contributed Photo

Rockville High School students in the Regional Agriscience and Technology program took first-place in the FFA District Safe Tractor Operation Career Development Event (CDE) on May 13.

Rockville hosted the competition, which included students from the agricultural programs at E.O. Smith, Suffield and Bloomfield high schools. Each school sent its top two competitors from their respective school competitions.

Dan Dzen and Jake Lipton of Rockville took first- and second-place, respectively, at the district event.

At press time, Dzen and Lipton were preparing for the statewide competition in Ledyard on May 21.

Competitors had to take part in each of five events: a general knowledge written exam on safe operation of agricultural equipment, a two-wheeled manure spreader driving event, a four-wheeled hay wagon trailer driving event, a loader driving event and a skid steer driving event.

Each driving event took place on a pre-designed obstacle course the contestants must complete. Each driving event had two judges scoring the contestants.

Judging teams were made up of representatives from the four communities. Rockville's judges included Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Conway, RHS Principal Eric Baim, Vernon Police Officer Earl Middleton, George Apel and Ashley Lanz.

Agriculture mechanics teacher Kimberly Alzak said Rockville was excited to host the event, which rotates among the schools each year.

Alzak said she is also thankful to Scot Stanton, owner of Stanton Equipment of East Windsor, for providing the use of equipment for the event.

“Stanton continues to allow Rockville’s Agriculture Center to borrow several of his new John Deere tractors and equipment for the District Safe Tractor Operation CDE,” Alzak said. “This allows Rockville the opportunity to host the CDE.”




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