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Turlock instructor wins big at State Fair

POSTED September 1, 2009 7:14 p.m.
Turlock High agriculture teacher, Chad Russell, won the instructor sweepstakes at the California State Fair in August due to his students’ success. All of his ag students won first place at the Fair,  which gave their instructor the most points at the end to win his own prize. Russell won a plaque and $150.
“I have been fortunate enough to win this award the past two years,” Russell said. “The fact that I have won this award the past two years directly reflects the quality of work that my students have done.”   
One of his students, Dominic Agresti-Assali, won Best of Division with his set of almond bin trailers that took him 2,900 hours to complete. He also won Best of Show, the Airgas Welding Award and the Jim and Sue Avery Welding Award.  
Another agriculture mechanics student of Russell’s, Ryan Clardy, won Best of Division and the Outstanding Welding Award for his 20-foot car trailer that took him 500 hours to build.
Juan Ourique won Best of Division and the Airgas Welding Award for his 8-foot area groomer he built.  
Other students that won first place at the state level include: Dylan Linhares, Adam Worsham, Bryce Youndgale, AJ Azevedo and Blake Smith.  
Not only did the teacher and the students win, Turlock High won the chapter group competition.  
All nine students spent their summer at the Turlock High School agriculture shop working on their projects. They got all of their supplies from local businesses.  
“Businesses in our area have been a great asset to us because they understand that this is a learning process for the students and are very helpful and supportive,” Russell said.  
During the school year, Russell teaches his students how to draw and interpret plans, make materials and cut lists, order materials, and design and fabricate using various welding and cutting methods. They are also taught how to manage their time wisely with their other commitments.   
The nine students also won at the local level at the Stanislaus County Fair.
Smith won first place for building a 10-foot drag scraper that took him 325 hours to complete and Linhares won first place for building a one-ton hay bale processor that took 900 hours to complete.  
Agresti-Assali won Outstanding Agriculture Mechanics Exhibit and Outstanding Agriculture Mechanics Exhibitor for his set of almond bin trailers that won him a handful of awards at the state level.  
At the group level, the Turlock FFA also won along with the individual students. They won the chapter group competition for the Stanislaus County Fair. To win this award the instructor chooses five projects from his students and they are judged against five projects from other high schools within Stanislaus County.  
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail mmartens@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.

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