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Alum Places Third in National SkillsUSA Competition

Austin Fisher, a graduate of the Agriculture Equipment Technology and Power Sports Technology programs at ASU-Beebe, placed third in the Power Equipment Technology category at the National SkillsUSA Competition. Fisher was awarded a banner, medal, and approximately $2,600 in equipment. Pictured from left are Shawn Taillon, Department Head for Agriculture Equipment Technology; Dr. Jennifer Methvin, ASU-Beebe Chancellor; Fisher; Ron Snyder, Regional Career Center Power Sports Instructor; Dr. Cheryl Wiedmaier, Dean of Career Education Division; LaShanda Owens, Campus Operations Manager for ASU-Beebe Searcy Campus and ASU-Beebe at Little Rock Air Force Base; and Gene Wells, Classroom Assistant.

Austin Fisher turned his childhood love of tinkering into a career path, and now he is turning heads in his chosen field.

Fisher, a double major, graduated in May 2021 with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Agriculture Equipment Technology and an Associate of Applied Science Degree in General Technology with a focus in Power Sports Technology. He placed first in the Power Equipment Technology competition with SkillsUSA and went on to compete at the national level where he placed third. Both competitions were held virtually this year.

“I didn’t know if I wanted to do it because it was going to be held virtually, but I’m glad I did,” Fisher said. “I thought, ‘You’re only going to get one chance to do this.’”

Fisher said the competition consisted of a written exam and practical application tasks. He was required to video himself troubleshooting issues with small engines including a lawn mower and weed eater, explain what the issues were, and demonstrate how to repair the problems. Fisher said the issues included everything from electrical issues to valve adjustments. All tasks in the competition had a 15-minute time limit.

“It was very applicable to my work,” Fisher said, who is employed as a service technician at Greenway Equipment in Newport.

For placing third at nationals, Fisher was awarded a medal, a banner, and approximately $2,600 in equipment.

Shawn Taillon, Department Head for the Agriculture Equipment Technology program, said Fisher was an inspirational student. “Not only did he complete two degrees and maintain a 4.0 GPA, he also completed an internship, plus he completed a welding certificate.” Fisher was also awarded $1,000 as the John Deere Outstanding Student.

Fisher thanked his ASU-Beebe instructors for their support and encouragement.


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