In discussing the future of the auction industry the NAA Board determined that our greatest resource is the youth of our country. The Board realizes that our future buyers, sellers and auctioneers are young today and many need to be introduced to the auction industry. At the same time, the American Farm Bureau created My American Farm, a series of learning modules for students throughout the United States, in classrooms and at state and county fairs. My American Farm teaches lessons in real life situations.
Different associations from across the country will be invited to participate and a game, “Auction Adventures” helps children learn how to calculate commission and do basic math problems using the auction industry as a backdrop. This is a learning module disguised as a game (most 5th – 8th grade students are not excited about clicking on a learning module).
In addition to the game, the American Farm Bureau asked us to develop teacher resources to be used in conjunction with the digital resources. So we needed a few auction-related lesson plans and activities. Despite having several major agriculture companies footing the bill, it still required the auction industry to have skin in the game for the development.
During this same time period, we explored how we could get in front of students in middle school and high schools. We talked with several different student organizations including National 4-H and Boys & Girls Clubs. We were presented an opportunity to work with the National FFA to develop an Auction Industry Foundational SAE (Student Agricultural Experience). By doing so, the National FFA would help get another curriculum out to students in 8,630 chapters throughout all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. All materials are branded with the NAA logo and the “Find an NAA auctioneer” link on NAA’s website is also be promoted.
A student can sign up for the program and learn the business side of our industry. They attend auctions and interview auctioneers to understand our industry. If they are interested in a career as an auctioneer, they are advised to attend auction school. We developed NextGen (NAA Student membership) to allow these students to begin feeling like they are an important part of our industry, which they are.
After careful deliberation and many discussions, The Foundation understood that this was much more than an auction video game: it is important for the growth of the NAA, and will be a project to educate consumers to support our existing membership. All material has been completed and can be found under the student section on www.auctioneers.org.
The Auction Adventures module is promoted on www.myamericanfarm.org and is currently being used in schools across the nation. The National FFA has been instrumental in promoting the Auction Industry SAE. Thanks to the funding from the National Auctioneers Foundation students are learning about the auction industry and without a doubt, we are training future auctioneers, auction buyers, and auction sellers.
-Scott Shuman, CAI, past NAA president