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Twenty-five state-licensed auctioneers with persuasive manners and melodic chants sold everything from space heaters to screwdrivers at the Farm Show Bid Calling Contest.

The competition determines the state’s top auctioneer. Some proceeds from the auction went to the Farm Show Scholarship Foundation and some to the Friends of the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Judges evaluated the auctioneers on their speech, bid calling ability, salesmanship and appearance.

The auctioneers all spoke in no-nonsense voices, using the characteristic rapid auctioneering chant popular at tobacco auctions in the South. Yet each had a different style.

Katelyn Callahan of Pequea joked “may the force be with you” as she sold a Star Wars comic book, which originally sold for 35 cents, for $55. Peter Sensing of New Holland enthusiastically sold a “squirrel be gone” bird house for $40.

The competition winner is eligible to represent Pennsylvania in July at the National Auctioneers Association bid calling competition in Jacksonville, Fla.

Kathleen Mack of Newport, Pennsylvania Auctioneer Association Southwest Chapter president, said the state has more than 2,500 auctioneers. “Pennsylvania’s auctioneering business is strong,” she said.


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