BY MELANIE BUCK –
Fifteen schools from the Southern District FFA Chapter of Arkansas recently competed in an Ag Electricity competition that was held in Mena for the first time and Mena’s 1st Team claimed victory as well as claiming individual success. The meet was held in the Ouachita Center on the campus of Rich Mountain Community College as a partnership between Mena FFA and Aleshire Electric.
The overall winning team, Mena’s 1st Team, included (see picture left to right) Nate Aleshire, Dylan Stanley, Clint Buck, who placed third as overall high individual, and David Odom, who placed first as overall high individual.
“Aleshire Electric has been very instrumental in conducting this contest,” said Mena FFA Advisor Mike Collins. Greg Aleshire and one his employees, Bo James, have been helping train Mena’s FFA Ag Electricity teams for several seasons. Collins and co-advisor Brian Maye attribute part of the team’s success to Aleshire’s tireless teaching, taking his own time once a week to educate the teens in all things electric.
In addition to a written test, the competition has four skill areas that each student must complete: Live Wire, Tool Identification, Floor Plan, and Circuit Diagramming. “We are so thankful for Greg and Bo and the rest of the Aleshire staff for helping us to coordinate and grade the contest and for what they do for our teams,” said Collins.
“The whole purpose behind this program is to develop career skills. It’s much more than just a contest,” said Collins. He added, “They are picking up valuable skills to use in their lives whether they are at their own home or jobs.”