Bio: Anding, Brandon (National Award – 2016)
Surnames: Anding, Steinbach, Chapman
----Source: Tribune/Record/Gleaner (Abbotsford, Wis.) 02 Nov2016
Brandon Anding (above center) earned the National Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance Placement Proficiency Award for his eff orts on his Supervised Agricultural Experience projects in high school. Present with him to receive his award were former Granton FFA advisor Cheryl Steinbach (right) and current advisor Katie Chapman (far right).
by Cheyenne Thomas
At the 89th National FFA Convention and Expo, held from Oct. 19-22 in Indianapolis, Ind., Granton FFA member Brandon Anding won the National Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance Placement Proficiency Award. This award is one of 47 awarded to FFA members at the national level, with each award being given to the winner of one of the FFA’s 47 proficiency program areas.
The award, Anding said, recognized all of the time and money he put into Supervisory Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects throughout his years in the FFA, beginning in eighth grade. “I was already involved with mechanics in the (technology education) shop,” he said. “At that point I was recruited by Cheryl Steinbach into the FFA because I was already involved with that stuff.”
Once he joined, Anding began to work on his first SAE project, repairing garage door openers with his dad, Curt Anding. To document the project, he kept a record of all the time and money he spent while working on the SAE project.
Over the next four years, Anding’s SAE projects continued to evolve. As he became more comfortable with the tools in the school’s shop, he began to take on bigger projects, starting with small engines during his freshman and sophomore years. With each project, Anding kept a record of every minute and every cent spent, storing those records away after the project was complete.
After working on engines, Anding decided to take on his biggest project during his junior year: restoring his grandpa’s 1953 Farmall Super C tractor. He successfully restored the tractor, entering it into the Chevron DELO Tractor Restoration Competition.
Though he did not make it to the national level of competition with that tractor, it did not deter him from restoring a 1956 Utility International, his fi nal SAE project, during his senior year. Once restored, Anding entered the tractor in the Chevron competition, becoming one of the top 12 finalists in the nation. “I represented Clark County, Granton and my family while in Louisville, Ky.” he said. “I did a 45 minute presentation in front of five professional restorers.”
It was also during this time that Anding decided to become an agricultural machinery technician, participating in a Supervised Work Experience placement with Chili Implement. After graduating from Granton High School in 2015, Chili Implement hired him as an equipment technician.
While working at Chili Implement, Anding attended school at North Central Technical College in Wausau. He graduated with honors from NCTC earlier this year as an agriculture equipment technician.
Around this time, Anding decided to try for the State Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance Placement Proficiency Award, pulling out all the records he kept from his SAE projects and submitting them. “That record book was sent down to state to let them look at it,” he said.
He won the state competition in June and moved on to the national round, competing against three others for the national award. “We went down to Indianapolis and gave a 35 minute presentation and answered questions,” said Anding.
After the presentation, Anding was chosen as the winner of the award. He received $500 for being a finalist for the award and another $500 for winning. Along with the award, Anding was also chosen to participate in an international exchange program to be held in Ireland in June next year. “One from each of the 47 areas will attend, to see what other countries do agriculturally,” he said. “Since they (Ireland) are not in corn or soybeans, I get to see what sort of crops they produce Granton FFA member receives national award and their tractors.”
Until then, Anding plans to continue to work at Chili Implement and earn welding certification to become a mechanic and repair technician. He also plans to continue to restore old tractors, his favorite pastime.
Looking back on his achievement, Anding said he could not have done it alone. “I would like to thank my family and friends, my agriculture instructor Cheryl Steinbach and all my other mentors who are too numerous to count and my boss, Brad Schecklman of Chili Implement,” he said.
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