Education feature: Clovis sophomore’s trailer earns high honor at state fair

Courtesy photo Clovis High School sophomore Dusty Odegaard won grand champion at the Curry County Fair for a trailer he made in his agriculture mechanics class.

Liliana Castillo

Words of wisdom from his father paid off when Clovis High School sophomore Dusty Odegaard won grand reserve champion at the New Mexico State Fair.

Odegaard, 16, built a 4-by-8 utility trailer by himself over the last semester in his agricultural mechanics class at the high school. The project garnered him grand champion at the Curry County Fair in August and grand reserve champion overall at the state fair and first place in his class.

“I’m not only proud of it, I’m excited. I got to build it. My family is excited, Mr. A is excited,” Odegaard said. “It’s a great feeling of achievement.”

Agriculture Mechanics teacher Morgan Arguello, also known as “Mr. A,” said Odegaard did all of the workmanship himself.

“What I told him to start with is that it didn’t need to be the biggest project there. If you put quality and workmanship in there, it’ll take you there and it did,” said Dusty’s father, Johnny Odegaard. “I was very proud of him.”

The younger Odegaard said he made the trailer to be used when he mows lawns over the summer, or takes hunting and four-wheeler trips.

He said he took his time with every detail, including the paint job.

“Dad tells me that all the time,” he said. “I made sure it had even cuts, pretty welds, no sharp edges.”

The project took Dusty Odegaard a semester and part of the summer to complete. Arguello said he’s a perfectionist.

“We allowed him to maintain a level he’s happy with,” Arguello said.

Odegaard said his father, Arguello and a metal shop owner Rocky Mark helped him often with his project but his father denied that they had a hand in it.

“We helped him with advice. Any work, he did it,” Johnny Odegaard said.

Arguello said he couldn’t recall a sophomore earning such a high prize at the fair. Arguello said he’s glad the school has enough shop space and good equipment to let a student work on a semester-long project like Odegaards.

“I’m pretty proud of these kids. They work hard and I can’t say of one that worked harder than that one,” Arguello said.

Odegaard plans to be a professional welder after school like his father.

He plans to start another trailer similar to his prize-winning one that would allow a welding machine to be mobile, complete with any tools a welder might need. Odegaard said he could have sold his trailer but decided to keep it because it was the first.