It all comes down to auction

Published 11:14 pm Friday, August 20, 2004

By By SPIROS GALLOS / Niles Daily Star
BERRIEN SPRINGS - After the judging is over and the ribbons are handed out at the Berrien County Youth Fair, many children hope they earn a good amount of money auctioning off their animals on Thursday and Friday.
Many of the buyers are grandparents and local companies who want to reward the kids for their hard work, some will even give the animals back to their owners.
Some kids will put the money toward their education, others might buy that four wheeler they've wanted for so long.
But none of the auctions would run as smoothly as they do if Kent Stroud from Buchanan, and Jerry Glassman of Eau Claire didn't volunteer their time as auctioneers to the fair.
Glassman, who has volunteered at the fair since 1983, followed in the footsteps of his father, John, who also volunteers his time and has been an auctioneer since 1950.
Both Glassman and Stroud attended the now closed Repart's Auction School in Decatur, Ind., graduating in 1979 and 1986 respectively.
What exactly does one learn at auction school?
But how do auctioneers learn to talk so fast when taking bets from eager buyers?
Unlike Glassman, who followed his father, Stroud began the auctioneer trend in his family.
When he isn't volunteering at the youth fair every year, Stroud auctions farming equipment, antiques, and real estate.
Glassman and Stroud split the auctioneer duties Thursday, auctioning off chickens, turkeys, and rabbits. Friday large animals such as cows, hogs, goats, and sheep will be auctioned.
With auctions starting at 10:30 a.m., auctioneers put in some long hours.
Stroud has been around auctions since he was a small child showing hogs at the county fair. When he was growing up in Buchanan, he worked at an auction site calling bids.
When Stroud graduated from high school in 1984, most of his peers either joined the military, got jobs, or settled down to start families; but not Stroud.
When Stroud isn't auctioning things, he runs his own company, Stroud Tree Service, and he sells antiques during the winter.
This years poultry auctions were the most successful Stroud has ever seen.
Chickens this year averaged a price tag of about $110, with one even going for $550, according to Stroud.