Hometown Farmer - Wakonda farm toy auctions
When you're a kid and you dream of being a farmer, it's fun to push little toy tractors and combines around the living room floor.
You think those toys are worth anything these days?
We're going to Wakonda, South Dakota this week in "Proud to be a Hometown Farmer" to see how farm toys have made this tiny town of about 300 people famous, all around the world.
"A little over $8,000 for a John Deere hay loader," said Ken Girard, of Girard Auction & Land Brokers, Inc.
That's a lot money, for a little implement.
"We sold this one this last weekend for $5,100, but it had been repaired, so that's what held this one back a little bit," said Girard, holding a small farm toy in his hands.
Ken Girard and his family in Wakonda have been in the auction business since the 70's.
About 15 years ago, they started to specialize in farm toys.
"We sold collections out of Europe, we sold collections out of Canada and as far away as Alaska and Hawaii, both, too," said Girard.
It's like a miniature history of farming that all goes to the highest bidder, whether they be in person or bidding online.
"The first farm toys that we sold go back to the 1880's," said Girard. "It was horse-drawn sickle mower and hay rake, and it progresses from there to steam engines to tractors, to threshing machines, clear up to the modern equipment of today."
So, what has the Girard family auctioned off over the years?
"I won't say we've seen it all, but we've seen a large portion of it," said Girard.
Tractors that are trophies.
"They're pretty rare," said Girard, holding up a recently-sold, brass-colored salesman award from 1960, shaped like a tractor. "Just something kind of unusual."
So if there's one thing you should take away from this story, a nugget of information as you face the possibility of sifting through an old farm toy collection someday, it's this: never throw out that box!
"We sold this empty box this weekend for $500," said Girard, holding an empty box. "So keep your boxes!"
The Girard family has a Black Friday auction the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 23rd, 2018.
About 500 toys will be sold this year.
It starts at 10:00 a.m. at the Legion Hall in Wakonda, S.D.
Here's a link to the sale bill, and instructions for bidding online: girardauction.com/black-friday-2018.
Also, if you know a farmer you'd like to see on "Proud to be a Hometown Farmer," please email Jake at: firstname.lastname@example.org.