As the sun was trying to shine through the cloud cover, 150 farmers stood watching, listening and bidding on farm equipment at a farm sale in north central Missouri this morning. The equipment up for auction was in good condition and well cared for. Those in attendance came ready to bid. At a little after 10:00 the Chant of the auctioneer began.
I was just a spectator today. I attended to one, get a picture that showed the feel and anticipation of a farm auction and two, because it was a beautiful morning and I had some time before I was due to pick up a little one from preschool. If you have never been to a farm auction, let me break it down for you and give you a sense of what it is like.
First off you have the farmer who is selling the equipment. In this case the farmer has decided to retire and sell his machinery. He has already rented the land to another farmer to farm and chose the auction route to disperse of things he no longer needs. During the auction he is available to answer questions and talk about the machinery he used for years. For he knows it like no other and that is one of the appeals of buying equipment this way. You have direct access to someone who can tell you if there are any quirks or issues with what you’re wanting to bid on.
Next comes the Auctioneer and his Auction Company. They are in charge of the day, but are hired by the farmer to do the best sale possible. They inventory the items to be sold, put a sale bill together and advertise the sale. I do not know first hand what all goes into putting an auction together, but I do know that your auctioneer needs to be knowledgeable about what he is selling, have a good chant, and be able to interact with the bidders. Farm auctions are unique in that everyone there has something in common; farming and agriculture. So if the auctioneer does not know what he is talking about, everyone there will know.
Finally we have the bidders. Anyone with a valid drivers license or ID can acquire a bidders number for an auction. Once you begin bidding on an item, you need to have your number handy. When you are the last one with the bid, you give your number and they now know who owns the item. Farmers are fun to watch because they all have a unique way of bidding and looking when then bid. I have seen farmers carry on a conservation with someone else, all the while bidding on an item with a slight movement of their hand or head. When a farmer turns his back and walks away, you know he is “OUT” and no longer in the bidding.
At farm auctions you run into your neighbor, the farmer from the next county, or sometimes someone who travels quite a distance to be there. Farmers that attend farm auctions come in all shapes, sizes, ages and attire. All usually come wearing a cap given to them by the local seed guy, the local elevator or the local farm dealership. All are looking for good machinery at a price they are willing to pay. Farm auctions are unique, exciting and necessary so that those who are done can pass on what they have for others to use.
Blessings to you and this retired farmer and his family,
Laurie – Country Link