While final figures are not yet available, the Hillsboro FFA Alumni Auction held last Saturday at United Producers Stockyards may end up providing more money for Hillsboro High School agricultural students than any auction in the past 19 years.
“The best we ever did for the students was $17,500 and this could be pretty close to that one, and maybe pass it,” said Rick Williams, owner of the Rick Williams Auction Company LLC.
Williams’ company has provided auctioneering and other services for the auction for 19 years now and the money for the students comes from the commission fees the company donates back to the Hillsboro FFA Chapter.
Williams said a lot of other businesses and individuals volunteer time at the auction and that its success would not be possible without them. Current Hillsboro FFA members cooked food Saturday for a crowd that Williams said consisted of approximately 750 people from four different states.
A little more than 500 items were clerked in for the auction, Williams said, and 96 percent of them were sold for a total of $275,000.
“Ninety-six percent sold is really, really good. That’s extremely high,” Williams said.
He said there are still some advertising bills to pay and a couple other odds and ends to tie up, which is why the final figure that will go to the FFA is not yet available.
In the 19 years it has provided auctioneering services, Williams said his company has donated $148,413 back to the Hillsboro FFA Chapter.
“It’s something everybody looks forward to,” Williams said. “It’s almost come to be a social event.”
The FFA is a national organization dedicated to preparing members for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture. Local, state and national activities and award programs provide opportunities to apply knowledge and skills acquired through agriculture education. During the 2015-16 academic year, the Ohio FFA Association had 25,804 members in 314 chapters, according to ohioffa.org.
Although FFA was created in 1928 as Future Farmers of America, the name was changed in 1988 to the National FFA Organization to represent the growing diversity of agriculture. Today, more than half a million student members are engaged in a wide range of agricultural education activities, leading to over 300 career opportunities in the food, fiber and natural resources industry. Student success remains the primary mission of FFA, the website says.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.