Goessel students feted for tractor restoration projects

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA MARTENS
Goessel High School seniors Mark Voth and Zane Unrau came back winners from the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson.

Mark restored a 1948 Allis Chalmers “C” tractor, and Zane worked on a 1936 John Deere “D” tractor as an independent-study project in their agricultural-education class last year.

The two students took their tractors to the tractor-repair competition at the fair and competed against four other entries on Sept. 7.

Mark was notified by phone later that day that he was awarded grand champion.

“I’m really excited about it,” he said. “I didn’t know I was going to get it.”

He received a $300 scholarship, $75 in cash, a plaque and a ribbon.

Unrau garnered third place and was awarded $40.

“For these students, this is huge,” said agricultural-education teacher Justin Schrag.

Mark is the son of Elmer and Lynn Voth and Zane is the son of DeAlan and Alma Unrau, all of Goessel.

Mark said he put two tractors together to make his winner.

“The first one, the engine was cracked internally,” he said. “It was cheaper to start over and get another one and use the parts from the first.”

The young men teamed up to compete in the tractor trouble-shooting contest Sept. 8.

“They had to diagnose and fix problems on tractors that were there-in addition to taking tests on general knowledge and precision measuring,” Schrag said.

Zane was first-high individual, and Mark was second-high individual.

“They were grand champions for that contest as well and won cash prizes,” Schrag said.

“For our community, to win grand champion in both of those events is a pretty big deal, and it motivates other students, too.”

This year’s ag-ed students are already working independently to restore more tractors for next year’s competition.

“Right now, we have seven tractors in the shop that are being restored with hopes of going to the fair next year,” Schrag said.

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