Bidders check out the goods at the 2018 Vale FFA auction. Concerns stemming from pandemic restrictions prompted cancellation of last year's auction, usually held in October. (Enterprise file photo)

VALE – With autumn’s arrival to Vale comes the local FFA Scholarship Foundation’s annual auction, to be held Saturday, Oct. 16, beginning at 10 a.m. 

The event will be at its traditional location, the Vale bus shed off South Cottage Street behind the elementary school. 

Bob Hyde, FFA Scholarship Foundation board member, said that the event is important “because it provides scholarships for graduating students that participate in the FFA program.”

FFA fosters “premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education,” according to the organization’s website.

Students “learn people skills, they learn job interview skills, they learn animal/mechanic/horticulture type stuff,” said Hyde. 

The auction will feature items donated from almost 100 local businesses and individuals. There are art objects, practical tools, gift cards for everything from meals to plants, and a 30-minute massage.

Darin and Cathy Hill, for instance, donated 50 pounds of pork sausage, Rising M Ranch gave a custom-made hat rack, and Linda Carroll gave two baby quilts, and CAPS donated a chainsaw.

The Enterprise provided a full-page ad to promote the auction and a certificate for a lifetime subscription and lunch with publisher Les Zaitz. 

Proceeds from the auction will fund scholarships for graduating Vale High School seniors who participated in FFA, as well as to fund the club’s travel expenses when attending competitions. 

Last year, Vale’s FFA Scholarship Foundation granted 12 scholarships for a total of $21,400. Another FFA Scholarship Foundation board member, Bill Buhrig, said that it was “the biggest class we had ever.”

“It’s a sign that the program’s growing, and we’re happy to support,” he said.

The event was not held last year because of Covid. This year, Hyde said that while the pandemic presented challenges, organizers were simply doing what they had to do to follow the rules.

Hyde said there was not a fundraising goal for the auction. But previous editions of the event have raised tens of thousands of dollars. 

“We just are glad to get what we get,” Hyde said.  

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