Breaking a school record and following their win at San Antonio, the Priddy Ag Mechanics team won their second title as Overall Grand Champion with their portable buffalo chute at the Houston stock show, one of the largest shows in the world.
In addition to the title, the team placed 3rd in class with their goat box and was also rewarded with many valuable prizes.
“We won a really nice Miller Fabricating welding table with cut-outs and clamps to hold items in the middle of the table,” Ag teacher Barry Randolph said. “We also received an Aluminum TIG welder for welding aluminum, wire welders, and a Snap-On Toolbox. All the prizes are estimated to be worth about $20,000.”
Out of over 400 projects at the show, the buffalo chute was chosen best.
“There were so many great projects at the show,” parent and teacher Lisa Hood,” There were entry gates, 32 ft. cattle trailers, an antique tractor restoration, a 52 ft. plow, and so on, but what set the chute apart from all others was not only its enormity and hydraulics, but its complexity and excellent mechanics, all without any glitches.”
Team members were seniors Logan Randolph and Landon Hood, juniors Walker Peters, Caitlyn Cagle, and Lena Hood, and sophomores Gatlin Peters and Tanna Cupps.
“I was happy that we earned the ultimate awards in both San Antonio and Houston,” Caitlyn Cagle said.
“I was really impressed with the buffalo chute winning Houston,” Gatlin Peters said. “I was glad because we worked really hard on it. But also, at the same time, we had fun building it because we learned new skills. The long road trip paid off.”
Up against schools from all over the state, the team worked their way through its class and division to be eligible to win overall champion, and it came out on top in their final show of the year.
“That’s how we do it at Priddy: Go big or go home!” Lena Hood said.
Ag teacher Barry Randolph shared the double wins with his son Logan in his senior year.
“Winning Houston was a great way to end the year,” Logan Randolph said,” and getting to eat at Ragin’ Cajun twice just topped it off!”
“I’m glad we got to end the year with a bang!” Walker Peters said.
“It was fantastic to win grand champion of a major stock show a second time in my high school career,” Landon Hood said. “I worked long hours and was very dedicated to this project. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome, especially to know that Priddy is one of the smallest schools in Texas.”
“Winning the Houston Ag Mechanics show has been surreal,” parent and teacher Stacy Randolph said. “ I felt like our kids’ project would be difficult to overlook due to the complexity, quality and the overall ‘WOW’ factor, but you never know what goes on in the minds of the judges. You can never predict what they will decide to do. As a Priddy FFA Mom, I am so proud of Logan and his teammates for their dedication and work ethic. As the Ag teacher’s wife, I cannot adequately express what these wins have meant for my husband, Barry. I feel like I’ve ridden the roller coaster with him experiencing all of the worries, headaches and setbacks along the way. It is an awesome responsibility when you find sponsors willing to put their trust in you and invest their money in your program, knowing a bunch of young people will be doing the construction. The stress is immense. He set his sights on winning these two shows years ago, but never dreamed of taking them both in the same year. It’s nice just to breathe and take it all in.”
“We would like to thank everyone for their words of encouragement, pats on the back and providing snacks at night to hungry teens,” she said. “A special thanks goes out to the supporters and parents of Priddy FFA that assisted in loading and hauling our projects to the various shows. They donated their time to make sure our kids could get all 4 of their projects to the various shows. Thank you to Cindy Hurst, our yearbook advisor, for making sure the Priddy FFA successes have made it to the local papers.”
The team recognized Mr. Randolph’s leadership as the reason for their success.
“Students don’t realize how lucky they are to be able to compete in something like Ag mechanics,” Tanna Cupps said. “Not many schools can say that they have won both San Antonio and Houston. We are so lucky to have an Ag teacher that is so devoted to the students. Mr. Randolph puts many hours in at the Ag shop, not only working on the projects, but also sharing his knowledge. I could not ask for a better teacher.”
“It's been a long but productive year,” Barry Randolph said. “Hopefully, when these kids look back at the wins they've had this year, they will remember all of the hard work and effort it took to accomplish these dreams. I hope they will be willing to make the same sacrifices to achieve their goals in the future. There were many lessons to learn, other than the obvious cutting and welding. I hope they learned that success doesn't come easy or immediately. Persistence pays off in the long run.”