The Hillsboro FFA held its 25th Annual FFA Alumni Auction on Feb. 26 at the Highland County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro.
The auction was established to provide scholarships to Hillsboro FFA members. Any senior who graduates while being a member of the Hillsboro FFA is eligible to receive a scholarship if they pursue any further form of education.
This year the auction began with the Hillsboro FFA Vice President, Riley Stratton, presenting plaques to recognize the Rick Williams Auction Company for its 25 years of service to the auction. Thanks to Rick, Connie, Brad and Lauren Williams countless students have benefited from this event over the past 25 years.
Connie Williams said, “The FFA Alumni Auction has been successful for 25 years, not only because of the original crew, but those that have contributed in many other ways. Our staff has evolved over the years and clerks Fred Yochum and Casey Basford, and auctioneer Chip Yochum have donated their services for many years. Others have assisted with their loader tractors and set-up skills. Each year we look forward to seeing consignors and buyers who come to support the FFA.”
The FFA also recognized Keith Surber, Larry Shannon, Clay Vance and Coby Vance by presenting plaques to them for volunteering their tractors and service to unload and load consignments before, during and after the auction for the past 25 years.
Andy Vance, journalist, broadcaster, media expert and the son of Clay Vance said, “I’m especially proud to see the chapter recognize the people who have turned up every year to make [the auction] happen, including my dad Clay, and my brother Coby. They’ve put in close to 1,000 hours each over the years loading and unloading equipment in the week of the sale over the past quarter-century, along with guys like Keith Surber and Larry Shannon, guys who I always looked up to as a Highland County farm kid. Between the Williams family, the farmers on the loading crew, and the untold number of members and parents involved, it really does take a village. I’m glad I was there in the first years, and it’s really incredible to see a project like this still going on 25 years later.”
The auction began with an idea brought to the Hillsboro FFA by Brad Willimas and Tom Oglesby, retired Hillsboro FFA advisor, and then moved to a conversation at the Williams’ family kitchen table. That idea has made a huge impact on many Hillsboro FFA members. Twenty-five years ago, the auction started with hand-written accounting and hand-written item numbers and has developed into a high tech operation that even included online buyers this year.
The 2022 auction had 76 consignors, 561 items sold and 426 buyers total, including online buyers from 15 different states. Ninety-eight percent of the total consignments sold. The day prior to the auction, students went out to the fairgrounds to help set up the food booth for the auction. On the day of the auction, Hillsboro FFA members helped direct traffic, hold item numbers, check out machinery, and sold breakfast and lunch in the FFA Food Booth. The Hillsboro FFA Chapter is very grateful for all the support from the community over the years pertaining to its annual FFA Alumni Auction.
Submitted by Riley Stratton, Hillsboro FFA vice president.