In high school, Annika got involved with the FFA farm power team and began learning about agricultural machinery. Other members of the team were competing in the regional Tractor Restoration Education Program sponsored by JB Dewar, a Chevron Lubricant marketer in central California.
Annika and her good friend Elyse Evers decided to give it a shot, fixing up a 1957 Ford 600 tractor. “It was definitely a learning experience, because neither of us had a clue what we were doing,” she recalls. They performed well enough, however, that they were encouraged to enter their project as a team in the national Delo competition.
To their surprise, Annika and Elise were finalists in 2020, which simply fueled Annika’s drive to work harder and do better next time. She took on a 1948 Allis-Chalmers WC, tearing it down completely so she knew every part, what it did and how it worked. “It was really rough, but somehow I made it,” she says. “I just tried my best and had fun with it, and it's been a really incredible experience.”
Sponsored by Chevron, the Delo TRC has recognized the mechanical aptitude of high school students since 1995. Participants are accepted on an individual or team basis, and the guidelines and expectations are nothing short of demanding. Workbooks detailing the entire restoration from start to finish are submitted for review by a panel of judges.