One highlight of the Ft. Wayne Farm Show each year is a benefit auction held for the Indiana FFA Foundation. The auction is conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday during the show. Items auctioned off are donated by vendors and companies that want to help the FFA.
Crowds were good at this year's show, according to Greg Lake, a soil conservationist with the Allen County Soil and Water Conservation District. Lake was instrumental in getting the show off the ground many years ago. In the beginning it was a conference with speakers that happened to have a trade show. Now it's an iron show, as Lake notes, which happens to have some seminars along with it. Many years ago it moved from the Grand Wayne Center downtown to the Ft. Wayne Memorial Coliseum as the show outgrew the smaller facility.
Lisa Chaudion, Director of the Indiana FFA Foundation, reports that this was the most successful auction in terms of dollars raised for FFA ever at the Ft. Wayne show. The Foundation cleared over $16,000. Tradexpos, Inc. and Indiana Agri-News sponsored the annual event. Schrader Real Estate and Auction Company provided the auctioneers.
The state FFA officers and members of the Indiana FFA Foundation staff were largely responsible for rounding up donated items to be sold to farmers and anyone in the crowd with money. Items came from a variety of sources, including certificates for stays at hotels to donations from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to donations from seed and chemical companies.
This is the second auction for this set of FFA state officers. Each time the Farm Progress Show is in Decatur, Illinois, Titan Tire hosts a two-day auction for FFA. The auctioneers donate their services. The FFA officers also bring in donations from other vendors, although tires are the main attraction. Money raised is split between the Illinois and Indiana FFA Associations. In Indiana's case, the money goes to the Indiana FFA Foundation. This year, Indiana's share was roughly $30,000.It takes lots of money to keep a successful FFA program running. If you want to learn more, check out the Indiana FFA Website. Their Give Hope campaign to raise money to support the Indiana FFA Center is an ongoing project that is always in need of support.