Texas Teen Wins 2018 Grand Champion Title on First Entry in Delo® TRC
2018 Delo TRC Grand Champion, Ricky Schilling of Fayetteville,TX, earned the recognition and a check for $10,000 for his restoration of a 1960 John Deere 435 tractor.
It’s not often that a first-time entry in the Delo TRC takes home the Grand Champion title and Ricky Schilling was not optimistic going into the national championship.
“This is my first year and I was not expecting this. I was just expecting to come up here and do my best. Evidently it was enough, because I won Grand Champion,” said Ricky Schilling, 2018 Delo Tractor Restoration Competition Grand Champion. “Someday I will pass on what I am learning to the next generation of small-town kids who still love the agricultural life. Maybe as an Ag teacher, maybe as a rancher who hires, for sure as a judge of tractor restoration. Hopefully, I’ll be as good as the men who taught me.”
This restoration was Ricky’s second and he’s already selected his next tractor. As a 16-year-old high school student, Ricky’s presentation was truly impressive. While many teams come prepared to present to the judges with slide presentations and notes, Ricky demonstrated his knowledge and restoration project to the judges with only a few parts as resources.
The Delo Tractor Restoration Competition Grand Champion recognition comes with a check for $10,000. The Reserve Champion title, and an award of $5,000, went to Devin Haywood of Hastings, Michigan for his restoration of a 1957 Farmall 450 Diesel. A team from the Four Rivers Career H.S. of Washington, Missouri took third place and a prize of $3,000 for their restoration of a 1949 John Deere Model A.
The 2018 entries were narrowed down to 12 finalists who presented their projects to a panel of four seasoned tractor restoration experts. Each project was graded on the restoration process, safety precautions, results, documentation and their oral presentation.
This event is a combination of a vocational and business school experience that provides lessons the participants will take with them throughout their lives.
One veteran school advisor described the Delo TRC as the single most sought-after accomplishment at his school. This is a great competition teaching students dedication, tenacity and teamwork as they balance their restoration project with other priorities.
Many go on to graduate with good paying jobs right out of high school and without college debt. One former Grand Champion continues to be a Chevron Delo ambassador many years after earning the Grand Champion title because it changed her life. She now pays it forward as an Ag instructor at the very school she once attended.
The competition is open to all high school students and fundraising often offsets restoration expenses. Teams involve the community as they seek to raise funds and awareness. Marketers who donate product can use their Max Funds for reimbursement. One contestant family converted their entire farm over to Delo oil following their TRC experience.
The 2019 competition opens in April and teams must submit their workbook documenting their restoration, before and after photos, and a video showing the final working tractor by mid-August. For more information visit DeloTractorRestorationCompetition.com or send an email to Info@DeloTRC.com.