We all have our “projects” we take on with all intentions of completing them as something fun or a hobby to do, but all too often those projects get pushed aside when other duties and life call.
Grover C. Foulk, beloved Urbana Ag teacher in the ‘70s, farmer, city councilman and county commissioner as many knew him, dreamed of restoring a 1951 Farmall H. In his last year of life he passed on his dream by donating the tractor to the Urbana FFA, asking them to restore it.
“It takes a special type of student to take on a project like this,” said Mallory Zachrich, Urbana Ag teacher. “Not many have the skill level or passion to follow through with a project that takes so much detail and time. It took awhile, but eventually we had that student in our program.
“A few students helped with the mechanical work to get the engine up and running, but it wasn’t until Justin came along that we knew it was in the hands of a student to see the project all the way through,” she said.
Justin Preece, 2020 graduate, has had a whirlwind of a year. Just like other students, he ended his school year in the building early. That meant Justin had to take the project home to be able to work on it. The project has taught him a lot of new skills along the way and he looks forward to taking on a restoration of his own in the future. Justin plans to attend Hobart Welding Institute and will start classes later this month.
The 1951 Farmall H is on display at the Champaign County Fair outside the FFA Building.
Hailey Combs is the Urbana FFA reporter.