New club teaches about tractors
Most high schools boast a multitude of clubs and organizations. Key Club, Interact and ASB are among the most popular. Kids use these clubs to gain leadership skills, make friends and do things that they enjoy.
At Sutter Union High School, we are proud to be the first and only school in the nation that is the home of an Antique Tractor and Machinery Club.
Founded this school year, the SUHS Antique Tractor and Machinery Club has more than 30 members and a dedicated officers team. The purpose of the club was not only to educate the members about great innovations in agriculture, but to promote leadership and involvement in our community as well.
From the Caterpillar homecoming float to the restoration of older tractors, the Antique Tractor and Machinery Club has certainly made a name for itself at Sutter High.
Recently, the club took a field trip to the Heidrick Ag History Center in Woodland, where we were able to see hundreds of restored tractors and machinery dating back to the early 1900s.
"It was so amazing to see all the different types of tractors and machinery that had been restored to look almost brand new," said Tara Godinez, member and officer of the Antique Tractor and Machinery Club. "The history of agriculture is actually really cool and interesting."
As part of the field trip, the club toured Wallace Ranch and learned more about the history of the Caterpillar tractor and the Best family as well. Knowing how a tool so vital to agriculture in our community came to be was enlightening.
Later, club members learned to drive real tractors and an excavator. "The coolest part of being in the Antique Tractor and Machinery Club has to be learning how to drive a tractor. It was really easy and a lot of fun," said senior Erika Larsen. "I can't believe I actually got up there and drove it!"
It's one thing to start a club just for the sake of doing it, but it's another if you are truly passionate about what you are doing, which was exactly the mindset of the Antique Tractor and Machinery Club's president Alex Gilbertson. Around tractors her whole life, Alex was eager to share her knowledge and experiences with others in the hope of sparking some interest from her fellow students.
It definitely worked. "I love seeing how excited all our members are for our field trips and even meetings. The feeling of sharing something so important to me with my friends is great," Alex said with a wide smile.
The SUHS Antique Tractor and Machinery Club is not just another high school extracurricular activity. Just like any other club, we learn leadership skills and make friends while doing something we enjoy. However, the history brought to life by the first tractor club in the nation is something we can most definitely be proud of.
Bianca Almeida is a senior at Sutter Union High School. Her column appears every six weeks in Education.