MACOMB, Ill. — A group of Western Illinois University School of Agriculture students set out to plan and run the department’s annual fundraising auction to benefit WIU agricultural programming and ended up setting a new sales record for the event.
This year’s Legacy Sale brought in $73,000 for the University’s Livestock Judging Team and improvements to the University farm, beating the previous record by over $20,000.
The online sale offered nearly 120 items, ranging from a bar handmade by WIU senior agriculture major Stewart Andrews, using wood from a former Western Hall basketball court, to live animals, frozen genetics and seed corn.
The show is organized each year primarily by students in the livestock merchandising class taught by Associate Professor of Agriculture Mark Hoge.
“The sale was a huge success,” said Hoge. “The livestock merchandising class, and the Livestock Judging Team combined efforts to make the sale a hit. I can’t say enough thank you’s to the donors and the buyers. This sale takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to coordinate, but is well worth it.”
WIU School of Agriculture Director Andy Baker said the annual show is becoming one of many traditions associated with the University’s agriculture program.
“This year’s sale certainly exceeded our expectations as it raised more funds than any of the previous years,” said Baker. “The students in the Livestock Merchandising course, and Dr. Mark Hoge, worked endless hours putting together this sale, and it showed. This annual event continues to get better and better each year under Dr. Hoge’s leadership, and thanks to the hustle of our students. We can’t thank our donors, alumni and buyers enough for their participation in this event.”
WIU senior agriculture major Mason Hartman, of Attica, IN, the president of the Hoof and Horn Club, said he helped with the show in a variety of ways, including getting donation lots, writing lot descriptions, and setting up for Facebook Live events to promote the sale.
“This was exciting, tiring and rewarding, all in the same breath,” said Hartman. “It was a neat deal to be a part of something that helps support the school. It made us proud to be a Leatherneck, and we shattered our previous sale record by over $30,000.”
Hartman and Spring 2021 graduate Bailey Irick said more than 20 members of the livestock marketing class took part in the sale, as well as about 30 members of the Livestock Judging Team. Both heavily credited the work of WIU student Kyle Webster, a senior agriculture major, of Chrisman, IL, who works with Hoge and is a member of the Livestock Judging Team, calling him the “definition of a die-hard Leatherneck” and the “heart and soul of the sale.”
Irick worked behind the scenes for the sale, obtaining a few lots prior to the sale, and making sure the successful bidders got their merchandise, as well as sending thank-you notes to buyers and to donors.
“This was a pivotal moment for this sale, as we set a record setting number for the amount raised,” Irick said. “I believe it is a true testament to the students here at WIU, as they are hard workers that go above and beyond the job at hand. None of this would have been possible without the collaboration with the students.”
For more information about the WIU School of Agriculture, visit wiu.edu/ag.
— Western Illinois University School of Agriculture
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