Kip Beam (left), Agricultural Education Teacher at Chester County Career Center;
State FFA Secretary Josh O’Rear; Michael Nance, President of Nance Tractor and Implement, Inc.;
and State FFA President Jamie Hughes examine the tractors used in the competition.


COLUMBIA, SC….The Chester County Career Center’s Agricultural Education Department hosted the recent Mid-State Region FFA Tractor Operators and Tool Identification Finals for high school students from a ten-county area, according to John W. Parris, State Director of Public Affairs with the SC FFA Association.

Kip Beam, Chester County Agricultural Education Teacher, coordinated the Agricultural Engineering-related events with assistance from Dr. Phil M. Fravel, Associate State Director of Agricultural Education and Dr. Tom Dobbins, Program Coordinator for Agricultural Education at Clemson University. Jim Love, Director of the Center, attended and made the facilities available to the FFA members and their advisors.

Michael Nance, President of Nance Tractor and Implement, Inc., McConnells, provided the equipment for the competition. Other local Young Farmer-Agribusiness members assisted with the events, including judging and providing refreshments for the participants.

Bruce Cunupp, Vice President of the Chester FFA Chapter and Second High Individual Scorer in the Region-wide Tractor Operators Competition, shown with Chester FFA Advisor Kip Beam.

State FFA President Jamie Hughes of Pickens; State Secretary Josh O’Rear of Aiken and Clemson University; along with Keith Cox, Clemson University official who serves as State FFA Executive Secretary, conducted an Agricultural Education Leadership Workshop for students interested in becoming a state FFA officer while the other events were underway.

“In the Tractors Operators Competition, the Strom Thurmond Technology Center FFA Team took first place honors, followed by the Pelion and Gilbert Teams. High Individual Scorers were Wade Hastings, Strom Thurmond, first; Bruce Cunupp, Chester, second; and Derek Oswald, Gilbert, third. The Indian Land Team was first in the Tool Identification Competition, followed by the Batesburg-Leesville Team and the Saluda Team”, Parris said. “The top three teams in each category will compete in the State Finals later this month”, he added.

The mission of the FFA is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through Agricultural Education.




This page is maintained by Brenda Baldwin.
Questions or comments should be sent to John Parris (

Last Update: 3/16/2005