Sulphur Springs High School’s annual BBQ Build Off may have been a couple of teams smaller than usual, but was still a success, thanks to the many local businesses who contributed to help with costs of materials and awards for participant FFA groups.
According to the SSHS FFA instructor costs for materials needed for students to challenge themselves to build a barbecue pit within a limited time frame on the school ground has gone up along with other construction and supplies as a result of the pandemic, thus, the donations were event more appreciated this year. They allowed the school to host the event at the same entry fee for participants.
The 2021 build-off featured teams from seven different school district, including two teams from C-P who competed for bragging rights and prizes. Participant FFA Chapters included those from Union Hill, Caddo Mills, Lone Oak, Bland, Rains, Como-Pickton and Sulphur Springs; Como-Pickton had two teams competing. Teams bring their own equipment, including welding materials and tools, are each given the same parts and tasked with building a barbecue smoker during the school day.
When time is called, all teams must put down their tools and step away from their barbecue pit, put away their tools and ready themselves for judging. Some teams had members who were new to the contest, while others had more experienced ag mechanics students and many were comprised of a mix of students with varied skills levels. Teams are ranked by a panel of guest judges, with the top three recognized, typically with tools or donated items.
When the day is over, the students load their projects onto a trailer and haul it home. If barbecue pit isn’t already consigned, they will be tweaked and completed upon arrival home, then sold later to help raise funds for future FFA projects and activities.
School teams are also encouraged to participate in a cook-off, cooking items on site for lunch, for bragging rights.
This year, to honors went to Bland ISD, with Caddo Mills placing second and Como-Pickton’s Team 1 earning third place honors in the build off. Grilling honors went to Union Hill this year.