Muskegon Metro Area News
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Word of mouth gets around.  I was heading in to my reading tutoring gig in Holton along with School Board President Amy Brookhouse and she said "Did you hear what happened in Ravenna last night?"  As she told me the story, I pulled out my phone and began to Google the Ravenna Livestock Auction.  One, because what had happened out there was nothing short of a miracle and two, it's one of the areas we just don't hear enough about in Muskegon County.  It's not because there's not an equally amount of great things happening in our rural communities, I simply don't know who to get a hold of in some of them.  This story wasn't getting past me though. 


It wasn't long ago, a young man lost his fiancée in a car accident.  In his 20's young.  A really sad story but we stuck with first names only in the story for a layer of privacy.  He was left as a single father and the desire to lend a hand began with Stacey Lafferty.  Stacey helps run the family farm,  Pine Hills Dairy Farm.  It all happened so fast over the weekend before the auction that it's kind of a while wind, but the initial buyers were Tracy Hershberger and her husband, and Tracey is the office manager of the Ravenna Livestock Auction.  From there, it was on to the auction for the calf where it would find it's "forever farm". 

As it passed the auction block, the first bidder said "Run her again!"  She went back thru the bidding process.  Next buyer.  "Run her again."  An auction house full of big burley farmers continued the pace of re-auctioning the calf until a whopping $10,700 was collected and with additional donations to date, it's closer to $14,000 for this young man who lost his fiancée who was 37 weeks pregnant at the time of her fatal accident.  He and the baby made it, and the generosity of those around them was a staggering reminder of the good in all of us.  In the end, Egler Family Farms were the final bidders on her and they are going to raise her properly and when she sells someday, they have committed the proceeds to the family.  A heifer that would normally be at auction like her, would probably sell for about $350 according to Stacey Lafferty.

It was an awesome experience to see the auction house at rest and feel the vibe in it.  Agriculture is a huge part of our community and yes, I did use the time heading out to get the story somewhat selfishly soaking up the apple blossoms and smell of all of the open fields out toward Ravenna and Sparta where I grew up.  Stacey's idea and the snowball effect we saw is simply proof that needs are met everywhere in Muskegon County.  So often we see a concentration of efforts "in town" but trust me when I tell ya, our strength lies within us everywhere.  It was an honor to be a part of this story.