What an incredible program.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
April 17, 2019
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Bison Smokers may not be a househould name — yet.

In Forney school district, outside of Dallas, Texas, a quiet barbecue revolution is in the works. At Forney Metal Shop, high school students from both Forney High School and also North Forney High School are busy crafting state-of-the-art smokers in a line dubbed Bison Smokers. (In true Southern form, Bailey went with Bison Smokers as the brand's name as to not stir up any animosity between the North Forney Falcons and Forney High Jackrabbits, the schools' sports team names.)

As Texas Monthly's Daniel Vaughn reported, the operation is run by Thomas Bailey, the welding teacher in the Forney school district. Bailey spoke to the outlet about the role he plays with the teenagers in the creation process: "I help them all the way, but they're doing all the work." Clearly, Bailey gives as much as he gets back from the young students: The teacher suffered a heart attack at the end of January but is already recovered and back to logging long hours at the metal shop.

Currently, Stiky Ribz BBQ in Forney has several custom smokers on order, as well orders for Mum Foods in Austin and Chad and Jessica Sessions of Smoke Sessions Barbecue trailer, who are planning a new conventional restaurant outpost. The first finished smoker by the students will actually head West to New Mexico, where it will make its home at Mad Jack's Mountaintop Barbecue,

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"The shop's profits from construction will go back into the school's welding program, to pay for new equipment and materials to keep the shop running," writes Vaughn. Bailey is hopeful to establish a scholarship program for students who want to become professional welders.

"I really want to give back to the kids because they work so hard," Bailey told Texas Monthly. We're sure that hard work shines through on every plate that's graced with the Bison Smokers' treatment.

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