Michael and I headed out to Holliday, Texas for the 3rd annual FFA Holliday Weld Off where 10 surrounding schools competed to win top honors.
Holliday’s year-old AG building was abuzz with action as 31 students participated in the five categories of competition to showcase their welding skills. One of the Holliday advisors let me know he recently added accuracy cutting to the competition after a local employer told him it was his top criteria when hiring welders. Students must weld cut a 30-degree angle on an L shaped steel bar and fit it into an accompanying mold. Thirty one students had to bring their best to compete in accuracy and speed cutting, as well as, overhead, flux core and saddle welds.
This competition isn’t just for show. Judges included welding instructors from TSTC in Waco, Tulsa Welding School and Vernon College. The judge's participation provides opportunities for students to network with these teachers and discuss both educational and job opportunities.
The Holliday FFA team is hoping the Weld Off will continue to grow. “Last year we had to take a year off because we were in the middle of building our new building,” said Holliday High School AG advisor Paul Simmons.
The organizers are happy with this year’s turn out and with the support of local businesses. Local businesses donated welding gear, gloves, protective clothing and other welding accessories for winning welders.
Supporting the FFA is important to us and it’s always a good time to see talented young people engage in fun, healthy competition. We hope to check out the 4th annual Holliday Weld Off next year.