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Ag Mechanics at Rudder HS sparks creativity and skills

The Ag Mechanics program at Rudder HS sparks lessons that go beyond the classroom.

BRYAN, Texas-- There are many ways for students to compete for scholarship money at Rodeo Houston.

One of those is the Ag Mechanics competition.

It's a way for students to show off their creativity and skills by building something.

The program only took a little bit to spark an interest with Burke Mumford, a student at Rudder High School.

He's a busy young man who's involved in many activities.

"I have routine when I go home. I work with hogs and walk pigs. And, whatever time I have leftover I'll go work with metal or build something," said Mumford.

Mumford learned those building skills in the Ag Mechanics classroom at Rudder High School.

It's a class through the Future Farmers of America program where students learn to work with metal, doing everything from cutting to welding.

Mumford and his classmate Jonathan Thorn are taking those lessons beyond the classroom.

The pair designed and built a log splitter that they'll enter in the Ag Mechanics competition at Rodeo Houston.

"We started it from scratch. We basically just kind of saw a project in our heads. Then, we wrote it down, made a plan and then started putting some stuff together," said Mumford.

Ag Mechanics teacher, James Conner said these kids are building a foundation for their future by learning skills they can use in a career after graduation.

"They put in an enormous amount of hours on a project, not only designing what they built, but also fabricating all the parts. And, welding and designing and then going back to fix some of the parts that didn't match up right," said Conner.

Mumford and Thorn's project has been not only a learning experience, but a labor of love and dedication.

"It's a lot of work," said Mumford.

Conner said they have a perseverance that will allow them future success.

"They come in here and have a determination to succeed, do a project to get stuff done," he said.

That big spark of determination will take these kids far whether it's in their future plans or in the competition this weekend at Rodeo Houston.

"I just feel like it's going to be better than everybody else," said Thorn.

"We Worked hard on it. Better be," he added.

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