Barren County students bring ‘ag wagon’ back to life
GLASGOW, Ky. (WBKO) – A fresh, yet nostalgic, purr now resonates from the Barren County High School Agriculture Department’s “ag wagon” thanks to the work of a group of students.
The 1983 GMC Sierra was purchased brand new back in the ‘80s after members of the school’s Future Farmers of America organization voted to do so. Sometime after that, students and staff started calling it the “ag wagon.”
“All these years, I guess 40 years later it’s still here with us,” said Dr. Andy Joe Moore, an agriculture teacher, and FFA club sponsor.
The truck is outfitted with chrome mirrors and hubcaps, and faded remnants of its original baby blue paint remaining. On the inside, ripped seats donned with baby blue leather serves as a memory of the countless generations of FFA and agriculture students who have ridden inside the truck to different club events and field days.
The “ag wagon” was in use for a little over 30 years before its engine and other mechanical components stopped working enough to use it.
Students at the Barren County Area Technology Center, sometimes called the “trade school,” started work on the truck last September in an effort to return it to its former glory, said Jason Birge, the instructor of the automotive repair class at the school.
Tuck Norman, a junior student at Barren County High School, started working on the truck last September alongside a group of his classmates in the ATC’s automotive repair class. He said the initial problem was quickly found: the truck wouldn’t start.
“It really wasn’t looking too great whenever it came in here, but I think after this six months, or however long it took to complete, it turned out really well,” he said.
Some students worked through Christmas on the truck, and others started back in January. Norman said he had his hands on the truck all school year.
From start to finish, the truck got a new radiator, engine tune-up, and several polishing and buffing sessions. Most of the work centered around the mechanics.
“Here in the last semester, I worked on it the most,” Norman said. “I mainly worked on the electrical system – getting all the lights to work properly. I also fixed some seals and gaskets for the motor and transmission. They were just kind of leaking a little bit.”
The “ag department” sets atop a hillcrest along Trojan Trail in Glasgow just behind Barren County High School. The ATC is toward the bottom of the hill.
As the calendar flipped to May, students completed the project and got it back home at the top of the hill. Moore said he was thrilled when he saw the truck coming back to its home to be parked next to the “ag barn.”
“I couldn’t believe how cleaned up it had been,” Moore said. “The first thing we did was pop the hood.”
Moore said the FFA and agriculture program plan to resume using the truck but not in its prior job. He said the relic will mostly serve as an heirloom to boast before the community in different events like Christmas parades.
And while the “ag department” was happy to get their truck back, Norman said he was happy to move it along back up the hill. The project was met with challenges along the way, but he said he’s happy to see the truck’s maintenance completed and restored.
“I really like the satisfaction of seeing something done. Here, I feel like you can really do that,” Norman said.
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