WOODBURY – Oxford resident and Nonnewaug High School junior Andrew Coy went to school Wednesday, but he did not take the bus.
Instead, he made the 15-plus mile trip on board a Caterpillar construction loader, joining 35 other vo-ag students who arrived behind the wheels of an assortment of farm apparatus of all shapes and sizes.
It was all part of the school’s annual drive-your-tractor-to-school day, where students make their way along local roadways and over hills and streams before pulling into school with their engines rumbling.
Students were required to arrive before 6:30 a.m., just ahead of the buses. All of those who rode are part of Nonnewaug’s Ellis Clark regional agriscience and technology program.
The students either borrowed tractors from their own family farm or, in many cases, from the farms where they currently work at as part of the FFA program’s work-study where kids are literally, out in the field, after school.
“It’s a tradition here at Nonnewaug that the kids look forward to every year,” said Nonnewaug Principal Pam Sordi.
Ellis Clark Director Ed Belinsky said the event has been around for decades, formerly held in October when it’s colder and a lot darker in the morning. Having it now generated a lot more buzz, he said.
In addition, Belinsky said, having the event in the spring ensured that all the tractors were running smoothly.
“When we had it in October, the kids hadn’t fixed their tractors yet. But now that it’s at the end of the year, we’ve already worked on them all and we’ve learned everything,” Belinsky said.