Nicole Groot (L) presents Debbie Groot, who won the basket at the open house draw held by the Topley 4-H club. (Wendy Siemens/Houston Today)

Nicole Groot (L) presents Debbie Groot, who won the basket at the open house draw held by the Topley 4-H club. (Wendy Siemens/Houston Today)

The Topley 4-H club’s online auction — a roaring success

Buyers enjoy ease in transcation but miss the in-person experience

The Topley 4-H club successfully auction off animals during their unique online auction this year due to Covid restrictions.

The club, like several other 4-H clubs in the area, decided to move to an online auction format, starting Aug. 22 until Aug. 27. The club has a total of 24 members of which 13 had their animals up for the auction through Vold Jones and Vold Auction Mart’s auction platform.

The auction was very successful. The feedback that I got from the buyers was that, it was very easy to register and easy to use. The only thing they missed was the social atmosphere of being together which we couldn’t do his year,” said Wendy Siemens of the Topley 4-H club. “They enjoy being around kids and they enjoy meeting up with one another too. The social aspect of the event in itself was missing but otherwise it was a success.”

The club also hosted an openhouse to visit with the members and get a first-hand glimpse at their projects. The club also had a draw during the openhouse and Debbie Groot won a gift basket from the draw.

“The kids could show their animals and it was a Covid-friendly environment and we did the best that we could. We had quite a few supporters and buyers for the viewing but the online auction went really well,” said Siemens.

This year, the Topley 4-H club had 12 market steers and one market hog for sale and every single animal was auctioned off successfully. Smithers Sausage Factory bought from Myles Dekker and Mary Hodge, Kyah Resources Inc. also had two purchases from Joe Stephens and Everett Himech. Four Rivers Co-operative bought from Tyson Groot, Andy Meints Contracting from Brevan Dekker, Bulkley Valley Credit Union in Smithers from Lian Seinen, Roga Contracting from Nicole Grrot, John Himech Logging Ltd. from Travis Stephens, Sullivan Motor Products from Sophie Stephens, John Groot from Isaac Groot, Manual Life Securities from Isaiah Turner and Turcottee Brothers Contracting Ltd. from Bailey Spooner.

The Topley 4-H club’s start this year was smooth as usual however the pandemic changed everything and face-to-face meetings were cancelled in March.

The Bulkley Valley Exhibition was also cancelled and the Bulkley Valley 4-H Council directed each club to host their own achievement day individually.

The Topley club had their achievement day on July 18 with Myles Dekker as the Grand Champion and Joe Stephens as the Reserve Champion. On the back of the unusual achievement day’s success, the club decided to move forward with the auction by taking it online.

The night when the auction closed, the kids as a group got together for some pizza.

“We all got together the night that the sale closed so we could all see how everybody’s steer sold so that was kind of a fun hangout. We have to make the best of the situation,” she said adding that the hardwork and great marketing from the goods, and the assistance of several supporters made this event a success that it was.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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