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TCAT student of the year will probably stay a farmer

Contributed • Updated Feb 13, 2019 at 11:29 AM

ELIZABETHTON — Ethan Self of Greene County is the 2018 Student of the Year at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Elizabethton.

He will receive a diploma as a diesel technician after completing the 20-month diesel power equipment program.

Self’s love of farming began early in life. The majority of his neighbors in rural Greene County are farmers. “I have had a fascination with tractors and large trucks since I was a young boy. At a very young age I could name every tractor. I couldn’t wait to become a farmer and have my own tractor,” he recalled.

Self, who grew up on a farm in Chuckey, is used to hard work tending to livestock, plowing the fields to make ready for planting row crops, harvesting the bounty, and loading 70-pound hay bales onto a hauler in sweltering heat during the summer months.

Why did he enroll at TCAT-Elizabethton? “I wanted to learn how to repair farm equipment,” he said.

Self is of the opinion that the challenges he will face as a farmer will be exciting and rewarding, especially with his drive to be self-sufficient in making repairs to his farm equipment.

Self travels to Knoxville on Feb. 20 for East Tennessee Regional Competition in a bid to become State Student of the Year, which is now called the Statewide Outstanding Achievement Recognition Award, a program sponsored by the Tennessee Board of Regents. Students from 13 community colleges and 27 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology are competing for the award. Among criteria are good moral character, leadership, high academic standards and community involvement.

For information, contact TCAT-Elizabethton at 423-543-0070 or visit www.tcatelizabethton.edu.

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