By LANCE MIHM
More often than not, a five year old can be amused easily. Making crafts, drawing pictures or playing games can keep them happy.
But while rural Moulton resident and five-year-old Jacob Ott may sometimes partake in those activities in his pre-kindergarten class at the Wapakoneta Learning Center, he takes his threshold for thrills to a whole new level.
Ott recently competed in the Grand National Tractor Pulling championship Jan. 29 at Power Show Ohio in Columbus and placed third nationally.
While the son of Christy and David Ott is fairly new to competition, he has shown he is a quick learner.
In his first year of competition, he placed third at the Holy Rosary Parish Festival in June, and finished it off with first place finishes at the Applefest in Sidney and the St. Marys Summerfest in August. He also garnered a fifth-place finish at the Darke County Fair.
Children qualify for the national pull by placing in the top three at any sanctioned event, so Jacob qualified three times over.
Through these early competitions, Jacob has learned the importance of training at a young age.
He spends plenty of time on his little green John Deere pedal tractor, and often hooks his wagon up and loads it with stones.
While he turned five in October, Jacob qualified and competed in the national pull in the 3-4 age group.
He nailed down his third place finish by hauling 300 pounds for a distance of more than 26 feet.
“When he gets his mind set on doing something, he does it,” his mother said.
Jacob, himself, was obviously proud of his accomplishments.
“I have two small trophies, two bigger ones and one huge one,” Jacob said of his winnings.
“I keep them in my room.”
However, he does not plan on stopping there.
“Next year I am going to get more,” Jacob said. “I’m going to get even bigger ones.”
The event has come natural for him, as he is the next in line of a long family history of farming. Jacob has taken quite the interest in the family business at a young age. The family grows corn, soybeans and wheat.
“He is always out there with his dad and his brothers,” his mother said.
“He’s a farmer all the way. He always has to be in the combine and he is even interested in the mechanic part of it.”
Jacob echoed his mother’s assessments.
“When I grow up I am going to be a farmer and I am going to work on tractors,” Jacob said.
After his third place finish, Jacob has set his sights on higher achievements this year.
“He’s hoping next time he can win so he can get his picture on the pedal tractor with the big trophy,” his mother said.