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Farm Auction Boosts Rural Town's Economy
Auctions with their rows of tractors, combines and other equipment are common sights in rural areas, but how many lines of equipment have you seen set up and auctioned off on your local town's Main street?
In Drayton, N. Dak., population 1,100, such a sight is an annual event held in early April. This year's auction attracted 2,000 visitors from four different states and Canada into town.
"The idea for the auction on Main street, started about 3 years ago," says Ross Landowski, Drayton farmer and organizer of the event. "I was in the bank one day and the Chamber of Commerce was wondering what they could do to get people into Drayton and bring some business to the merchants. I told them that if they gave me the streets for three days I'd bring people in.
"When people come in for the auction they not only buy equipment but they also help bolster Drayton's economy by eating at cafes and shopping at the local stores.
"This year we had more than 200 pieces of equipment lined up along Main street and side streets including 29 tractors, 8 combines, 8 drills, pickups, boats, plows cultivators and much more which was brought in by local farmers and implement dealers.
"All together we had 911 bidders and about half a million dollars in equipment sales. The city receives a 5% commission on sales, with a maximum of $500 per piece of equipment, to pay for advertising, auctioneers and other costs. All profits from the event are then used by the city. In past years, the money's been used to repair the city hall roof, build a small park and other city improvements. In 1986 the auction brought in $6,200 profit," Landowski notes.
If you're thinking of holding an auction in your town, he points out that the keys to success are advertising and making personal contacts with area farmers to line up equipment.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ross Landowski, Box 178, Drayton, N. D. 58225.

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1987 - Volume #11, Issue #4