Ag students stay busy, ready auction

Auctioneer Nick Nelson watches the room during the Eighth annual Hermiston FFA Alumni Dinner-Auction, live auction Saturday. The auction raised $22,650 that will go funding FFA trips, activities and scholarships.

Harvest is coming to an end in the Columbia Basin, but the biggest event for some agricultural students in Hermiston is about to arrive.

The annual FFA Alumni auction is slated to begin with a silent round of bidding at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13, in the Hermiston High School purple gym.

Bulldog Catering will serve a dinner at 6 p.m., and a live auction will start at 7 p.m.

Emily Herringshaw, auction director and wife of agricultural teacher Sam Herringshaw, said preparation for her third year of organizing the event has gone well so far.

“We’ve seen great support from the community,” she said, adding that more than 100 donations have arrived for the auction.

Herringshaw said all the money raised for the auction helps pay for scholarships for graduating members, travel costs to events outside Umatilla County and preparations for the 2012 state convention, which will take place in Hermiston.

Leah Smith, an FFA advisor who teaches at Hermiston High School, said the auction will hit during a busy fall schedule for the local chapter.

A dozen members recently traveled to Indianapolis, where four competed at the national level in a meat evaluation competition.

Allison Hobson, Patrick Linnell, Michael Wallace and Daniel Horn won a gold award and were recognized as one of the top 10 teams in the nation.

Smith said about 30 students went to the Blue Mountain Leadership camp last month, and members won first place in a soils judging event a few weeks ago.

She said one of the unique aspects of the upcoming auction is the member sale, where students can sell their labor hours to put money in the FFA account.

“We will use those funds towards the cost of sending them to state and national conventions,” Smith said.

The advisor said the FFA students will have a congested day Nov. 19, with a district sales competition and fall festival on the chapter’s schedule.

At the festival, students clean the barn at Bracher Farms, which hosts a dance and bonfire.

“They are fantastic people,” Smith said of the festival hosts, who welcome about 100 students for a night of free fun.

Herringshaw said anyone looking to get involved in the FFA Alumni group, which doesn’t require past FFA involvement for membership, can contact her at 541-944-1701.

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