Templeton High School take first and second place

PASO ROBLES — Shane Brennan and John Paul Schmidt took first and second place in the JB Dewar Tractor Restoration Program at the California Mid State Fair.

Winners were announced during the Cattleman’s Day dinner on Friday, Jul. 22. This year marks the 21 years of the program.

Each year, JB Dewar and Chevron Delo reward young students who have restored an antique tractor by providing them with a platform to share their workmanship, along with the distribution of scholarships.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles

JB Dewar mentors and advises students, teaching them business skills, teamwork, project management, budgeting, planning, and marketing lessons in their restoration process.

This year there were eight restored tractors entered this year. Students can work as a team or individually on a tractor.

Since 2002, JB Dewar, Chevron Delo, the Alex Madonna family, and other local businesses have awarded over $100,000 in scholarships.

Brennan is a Senior at Templeton High School (THS) and is the FFA Chapter President. He restored a 1952 Farmall Super AV, which took him two years to complete.

This is Brennan’s second tractor he has restored for the program. This year’s tractor required a full rebuild, making it a more extensive project full of new lessons. 

Brennan said he learned more business skills, time management and honed in on his mechanical and rebuilding techniques. He got his tractor from Isaac Lindsey, a former THS student and Dewar tractor restoration program contestant.

Brennan says, “I want to thank all my mentors. I appreciate all their help, and there’s so many I can’t name them all—I want to say thank you so much to all the people who have guided me through the process and who have helped with donations.”

Schmidt will be a Sophomore at THS later this year. He restored a 1940 Allis-Chalmers B that he has been working on since he was ten years old.

The worn-out tractor was sitting under a neighbors tree when Schmidt decided to take on the project and rebuild the engine. Since then, Schmidt has been taking the tractor to various shows. 

As anyone who ever owned a tractor before knows, they can always use a little work, which is what Schmidt has been doing in preparation to enter the antique in the Dewar Restoration Program.

Schmidt says his favorite part of the program was learning to machine his own parts, “I learned how to machine a lot of my own parts as a lot of them weren’t available.”

Both boys are planning to enter their tractors in the Delo Tractor Restoration, a national-level competition.

For the Dewar program, competitors are judged on three parts: the physical tractor restoration, record book of their hours and finances, and finally, a presentation and interview with judges. 

This year’s judges were Joe McKee, Faron Bento, and Quentin Thompson.

Students typically begin restoring their tractors in the fall and must have them complete the following July along with their record books and presentations. From start to finish, students log in about 400 hours of work on their tractors.

Students who participated in the 2020’s program were presented and celebrated before the 2021 winners were announced.

This year’s winners are:

1st place Shane Brennan (THS)-1952 Farmall Super AV

2nd place John Paul Schmidt (THS)- 1940 Allis Chalmers Model B

3rd place Annika Jensen (Homeschooled in Santa Margarita)- 1964 Massey Ferguson 135

Winners of the program receive award money sponsored by JB Dewar Inc. First place receives $4,000, second gets $3,000, and third place is awarded $2,000. 

“This past year was a little bit of a different year, so we’re happy that we were able to do the program still to give the students an outlet outside of being stuck at home, doing school online. They were able to get out there, get their hands dirty and work on something,” said Rachel Dewar, the programs coordinator.

In addition to restoration winners, one student was awarded the “Spirit of Agriculture” sponsored by Isaac Lindsey and his family.

Isaac and his brother Louis are past contestants who have each completed three tractors and are familiar with these students’ challenges.

This year the Lindsey family honored Cameron McEntire with a $500 scholarship.

On judging day, Isaac was impressed when he saw Cameron help a fellow competitor whose tractor wouldn’t start for the judges.

Cameron was awarded the “Spirit of Agriculture” for embodying leadership and being a team player.

Tractors from last year and this year’s contestants will be on display at the Stockyard Pavillion for the duration of the CMSF.

Left to Right: Ben Foxford, Joe Domingos, Braydon Beckett, Casey Havemann (2020 Grand Champion), Shane Brennan (2021 Grand Champion), Cameron McEntire, Annika Ernstrom, Annika Jensen, John Paul Schmidt, Josh Jorgensen, Hunter Breese, Gabe, Brett Lipscomb, Gabe Fuller. (Contributed Photo)

The program is open to all high school students from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. All levels of mechanical knowledge are welcome to participate in the program.

JB Dewar also accepts tractor donations. If you have a worn-out tractor sitting under a tree somewhere, donating it to the program could be the perfect way to breathe new life into the metal beast!

To learn more about participating in the program or donate a tractor, reach out to Rachel Dewar at rachel@jbdewar.com.