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Top Hand Auction raises more than $5,000 for scholarships

Wednesday, January 28, 2015   (0 Comments)
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 Students pause before the Top Hand Auction, which allowed agriculture program supporters to bid on farm and ranch help.

The farm and ranch way of life is alive and well, as demonstrated by 16 agriculture students from Seward County Community College/Area Technical School who went on the auction block to share their skills.

     The farm and ranch way of life is alive and well, as demonstrated by 16 agriculture students from Seward County Community College/Area Technical School who went on the auction block to share their skills. 
      With cowboy boots as incentive, ag students eagerly lined up on the auction block in November at the “Top Hand” auction event, hosted at Pub on the Bricks in downtown Liberal. A bid sheet for the evening listed the students’ skills: cattle-working, sprinkler maintenance, pig vaccination, sales, chemical mixing, plan- and helicopter spray-loading, track and combine driving and farm experience with corn, beans, milo, sunflower and the Kansas classic, wheat. The evening raised more than $5,000 in scholarship funds. It also helped connect students with people who care about what they do best. 
      As part of the region’s economic infrastructure, said SCCC/ATS President Dr. Duane Dunn, the college “wants to ensure the business and ag community stays connected to our students, and this event strengthens those relationships.”
      Those connections benefit everyone involved, Dunn added. Students are able to share their abilities and work ethic with businesses and individuals, rather than just asking for financial donations. That’s no small thing for either party, since the ag students offer a wide array of skills.  
      “Many of these students are state and national FFA (Future Farmers of America) award recipients. There are a couple of high school valedictorians in there,” Dunn said. As a former ag instructor himself, Dunn is familiar with the level of work required to earn such honors. 
      “Only one percent of the FFA participants are eligible for the national scholarship award. I’ve been through that, and it’s difficult to get. This is a pretty elite group of kids.”
SCCC/ATS Ag Instructor Teddi Winslow, who organized the Top Hand Auction, was confident her students would garner interest. 
      “We wanted to do something different, and I was very pleased with how it turned out,” she said. “We had six businesses in attendance, a lot of alumni, a good turnout from the college and the community. It was a great event.” 
      Hugoton High School graduate Brady Heger earned top honors in the auction, and won a pair of cowboy boots donated by the Crazy House of Liberal. He was joined by ag students Brady Marshall of Hugoton, Tanner Barrells of Wichita Falls, Texas, Keirstin Campbell of Texhoma, Okla., Makaila Furman of Kismet, Mitchell Shelton of Hugoton, Dalton Rutledge of Liberal, Dillion Hawk of Hugoton, Logan Hernandez of Dodge City, Keith Prosser of Greensburg, Andrew Rach of Tribune, Dallas Kelling of Dalhart, Kali Hoskinson of Elkhart, Garret Pickens of Satanta and Trae Pugh of Beaver, Okla. Unable to attend but participating in the fundraiser was Jacob Pewthers of Liberal. 
      Dunn said he was particularly impressed with the real-life work skills the group brought to the auction block. 
“They’ve been starting their own businesses, running their own cattle herds … I didn’t do that when I was 19,” he said. “It’s pretty impressive."


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