A group of Anna Ag Mechanic students traveled to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo to compete in the 2019 San Antonio Ag Mechanics Marketplace Competition on February 23, 2019.
In attendance were Anna High School Ag students Caleb Jack, Mason Janak, Gustavo Martinez, Justin Mccullough, Noah Mcelway, Tyler Sparks, and Austin Wildman.
The class prepared a gate and an outdoor fireplace to be judged. The students built the gate for the Anna ISD Ag barn but submitted it in the gate division. The gate itself placed second.
Out of those in attendance, Junior Caleb Jack and Senior Austin Wildman competed in the Marketplace Competition. These students had to take a sales and marketing test as well as promote and sell their product (the outdoor fireplace) to buyers and judges.
“Preparing for the competition was long and hard, it involved doing multiple practice tests, creating a sales pitch, and knowing the product inside and out,” said Jack. It also involved “studying many different sales tactics and diversifying our knowledge of sales through many tests,” according to Wildman.
Both products took weeks to finish, along with weeks of competition prep. In the long run, it worked out for the boys as Caleb Jack and Austin Wildman took Grand Champion.
“Winning grand champion still feels like a dream to me, it’s such a great experience that it’s hard to put into words,” said Jack. “I’m very grateful for this opportunity… to me, it means that there is a world of opportunities for me, as long as time and determination are put into it.”
The accomplishment of Grand Champion came with a little bit more than bragging rights. Both students were awarded $5,000 in scholarships. As a senior, Austin Wildman plans on taking this money with him to Tarleton State.
Along with winning the scholarship, they were given the chance to auction off the fireplace, where it sold for $4,500. The money goes back to the Anna FFA for future events and projects.
“We all worked hard to build, understand, and sell an amazing project and it all came down to how much we cared,” said Jack.
The future for the Anna Ag Mechanics Program has just begun, as the school continues to grow.
“Mr.Morris continues to bring in a breath of fresh air to Anna’s Ag Mechanics Program and continues to have success at many major shows,” says Wildman. “Anna FFA continues to excel previous standards set and will have a bright future in time to come.”