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High Bids at FFA Worker Auction

by Holly Hahn Yoder

Published: Friday, March 9, 2018

The NorthWood High School FFA chapter held their annual community appreciation soup and chili dinner last Thursday in Nappanee. The evening was a celebration of the chapter's highlights for the past year as well as a way to thank those who support the activities of the FFA teens. The backing of families and the community was evident in the sale totals from the evening's worker auction.

Each FFA member sold four hours of work to the highest bidder. Bidders were given a list of students and their extra-curricular activities, FFA offices and the kind of work they were willing to do. Examples of the possible tasks were baling hay, cleaning house, livestock chores and construction work.

Students were sold singly or in groups. One group of three volunteered to be sold together and then individually.

"Some of us are being sold twice just so we can have enough funds for our chapter," said Grace McCoy, FFA student advisor.

A remote bid from Larry Wagner in Florida was the winning bidder for the trio of McCoy, Garret Weldy and Trajan Swartz.

Somehow, these busy members will need to fit in eight hours of work between their FFA, 4-H and school activities, added McCoy.

There were 22 FFA workers auctioned off by Jeff Polk, who kept the bidding lively. The chapter earned a little more than $7,000 as a result. Polk also donated his time for the worker auction, and provides a location for the other major fundraising event, the annual December FFA consignment auction.

"This (the worker auction) is in place of selling like candy bars, soap, fruit. This eliminates all that for our chapter," said Amy Beer, FFA advisor. "This pays for all that they do, like state conventions, national conventions, entry fees for contests, supplies they might need for FFA activities."

Additionally, Beer praised the school system for being so cooperative. A measure of that support was apparent when school superintendent Scott Croner outbid everyone else for a student worker.

During a brief program, Beer detailed the accomplishments of FFA members and recognized all of the businesses and individuals who support the program with both time and materials. Through the support of the community, NorthWood was able to field winners at the state convention for the first time, and those students moved on to national competitions. With the aid of local veterinary clinics such as Milford Animal Clinic and Dr. Bruce Lamb, the veterinary science team competed at the nationals and came in seventh in the nation. The tractor restoration team also placed in the top 12 and Grace McCoy was 21st in Job Interview.

The latest activity the teens are competing in is the Scrapbook competition. Beer drew attention to the slide show, or scrapbook, that ran continuously for most of the evening. The "scrapbook" was designed and built by FFA members for the District 2 scrapbook competition, which will be held on March 15.

Not all of the FFA chapter activities are centered on competitions and work. Last Friday, the members were able to give back to the community by selling ice cream at noon and at the basketball sectional. Beer called the local Culver's franchise owner, Keith Remington, and he agreed to donate 1,000 cups of ice cream. The proceeds of nearly a thousand dollars from the sale will be split equally between the Family Christian Development Center and the Boys and Girls Club of Nappanee.

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