January 23, 2012

Benefit Auction at Governor's Conference on Agriculture Raises Over $12,000

Proceeds support programs for 4-H and FFA youth, young professionals in ALOT and AFA

The Missouri Governor's Conference on Agriculture benefit auction supporting the future of Missouri agriculture raised more than $12,000 Friday evening. The auction proceeds benefit programs for youth and young professionals in agriculture including 4-H, FFA, Agriculture Future of America (AFA) and the Agriculture Leaders of Tomorrow (ALOT).

"The future of Missouri agriculture is directly tied to our ability to grow and adapt to the opportunities ahead of us," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "The proceeds from the auction will benefit young people in agriculture through 4-H, FFA, AFA and ALOT programs."

Popular items included a Taurus "Judge" and a guided duck hunt for two in northwest Missouri. The revolver, which featured a National Rifle Association engraving, was donated by the Missouri Pork Association to benefit FFA. The hunt was donated by Rob Bolin of Bolin Auto and Truck Parts in St. Joseph to benefit AFA.

The top-selling item, the 2011 Missouri State Fair Grand Champion and Champion Youth Country Cured Ham benefitted 4-H. The ham was purchased by Orschelen Farm and Home for $2,000. The ham was donated by Murphy Brothers Exposition, Ditzfeld Transfer and Kathy & Tony Ross. The ham was exhibited by Logan Cary of Houston, Mo. during the Missouri State Fair in August.

Members of the Missouri State 4-H Council and the Missouri State FFA Officer Team as well as representatives from many of the 14 ALOT classes and alumni of the AFA leadership program joined Conference participants for the meal and auction.

Attendees enjoyed authentic Kansas City BBQ while comedian Tim Cavanagh provided entertainment before the auction. Agriculture Director Dr. Jon Hagler, USDA Acting Under Secretary Michael Scuse, Wyoming Director of Agriculture Jason Fearneyhough and Missouri Pork Association Executive Director Don Nikodim served as celebrity auctioneers for the live auction.

The evening was sponsored by the Missouri Corn Programs, the Missouri Soybean Programs and Missouri's farmer-owned ethanol plants.

The Conference, which is being held in Kansas City for the first time, concluded Saturday evening with an awards banquet and a special performance by country music star Mark Chesnutt. The three-day event included panel discussions and seminars featuring more than 50 speakers, as well as Thursday evening's Taste of AgriMissouri reception, during which more than two dozen producers shared their Missouri-grown foods and beverages with attendees.

For more information on the Governor's Conference on Agriculture and the Missouri Department of Agriculture, visit the Department online at http://www.mda.mo.gov.

Note: Photos from the auction are available online via the Department's Flickr stream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/moagriculture/sets/72157628999712673/ and on the Department's Facebook page.