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Nebraska Farmers Stay Silent During Auction So Young Man Can Buy Back His Farm

The world can be a dark place. That’s why it’s always so nice to read a story that warms our hearts and uplifts our minds. This story, about the selflessness of a group of Nebraska farmers, could be that story. 

A Dynasty of Nebraska Farmers

A young Nebraska man named David had come from a long line of farmers. For untold generations, David’s family had owned a farm. Passed from generation to generation, it was a central hub. Unfortunately, something tragic happened. Reports vary on exactly what it was, however. 

Farmers Stay Silent

Nebraskan Farmers’ Websites

Some news outlets, such as The Bullvine, a website for “informative and thought-provoking news and articles for the dairy industry,” said an unscrupulous relative sold an 80-acre farm away from David’s family. (1, 2)

Straight From The Farmer Himself

An article on Good News Network is written by someone who claims to have met David in a session she hosted. Lauri Gwilt, who with former National Geographic photographer, Dewitt Jones, writes and hosts a course called “The Habit of Celebration.” She says that the 80 acres was not the whole amount of land–merely a parcel. It was separated from the rest, not by a conniving sale, but by a will that divided up the farm into portions, willing one portion to a far-distant relative. The farmers of David’s family retained their farm, she says, but spoke often about the missing piece. (3)

What The Stories Agree On

Whether the whole or a part, whether within David’s lifetime, or generations before, every story about the 80 acres retains one commonality. David was determined to resume the generations of farmers living on the land, just as it had been in the beginning. While other relatives despaired, or told stories about the good old days, David believed wholeheartedly that he would be the one to make his Nebraska farm whole again. (1, 2, 3)

The Nebraska Farmers’ Auction 

David was in his 20s in 2011, the date the lost land was announced for sale at a Nebraska Farmers’ Auction. “Even though I dreamt of getting the land back for as long as I could remember,” David told Gwilt’s group, “when the day came, I wasn’t ready.”

It would be a heartbreaking moment. Yet, David was not willing to admit defeat. He and his father pooled their resources and headed into the auction at the appointed time. They would give reclaiming the Nebraska farm their best shot. (1, 2, 3)

200 Nebraska Farmers

Upon entering the auction hall, David and his father despaired. Over 200 farmers were ready to bid on the things up for sale. Unfortunately, one of those things was the desired 80 acres. And these farmers were much financially better off. 

When it came time for the land to be bid on, David made their bid without much hope. However, when the auctioneer called for a better offer, no one else bid.

Three times, the auctioneer tried to solicit interest in the Nebraska farmland, with a break in between each attempt. Three times, he failed. No one else bid, so David could reclaim the land. “I’ve had two profoundly humbling days in my life,” David said. “The first was the day my son was born. The second was that unforgettable day at the Auction House.” (3)

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