It was more of a social event than business at the 31st annual heifer sale in support of the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), but a considerable amount of money was raised nonetheless. “We have a lot of support from the community and it really generates a lot of excitement,” said John Brenneman, committee secretary. “We draw some really big crowds and everyone really gets into it.”
The event helped raise $220,000 for the MCC, as cows prized for their milk production and pedigrees were sold at auction. The sale has collected more that $4 million since its inception in 1982 through the auctioning off of more than 3,600 heifers and other donated items.
Brenneman said farmers and volunteers across the region donated their time and livestock to make the event what it was. The sale took place at David Carson Farms and Auction facilities in Listowel and included 126 donated heifers, semen and embryos and other donated items such as woodworking and a hand built threshing machine.
Every year brings new donors to the auction, including 30 this time around. The annual sale draws a bigger crowd than usual auctions, from prospective buyers to retired farmers. More than 400 farmers, buyers and businesses attended this year’s auction in support of the relief work
“People really get behind it and we have some farms that have never missed a year.”
Local businesses also participated in the sale, both donating and buying. Several bought cows and donated them back at the auction.
Heifers with good pedigrees go on to compete in shows to show off their exceptional form.
Topping the sale this year was a heifer named Fradon Armstead Autum at $4,100, donated by Murray Gerber, Ken Erb and Norman Roes and purchased by Skipwell Farms Inc. Another heifer, Fradon Sid Mel, donated by Roy and Joe Snyder and Clarence and Marilyn Diefenbacher, was sold to Nelson Weber for $4,050.
The auctioned cows brought in $196,000, another $16,000 came from miscellaneous items and cash donations pushing the total raised to $220,000. That is $54,000 more than last year’s event.
“People tend to gravitate to our cause because they know that our organization does some very good work at home and abroad,” said Brenneman. “This is an excellent opportunity for farmers and agribusinesses to support MCC programs.”
All proceeds go to the MCC for its relief, development and peace work around the world.