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story.lead_photo.caption Eighth-grader Elizabeth Luebbering serves dinner Thursday during the barbecue at Eugene. Eighth-graders, freshmen and seniors worked the kitchen while sophomores and juniors were "sold" at the labor auction. Photo by Danisha Hogue / News Tribune.

It was a win-win for everyone. Cole R-5 High School FFA members held their annual labor auction Thursday night. The fundraiser brought parents, community members and area businesses out to bid on sophomore and junior students for work.

FFA advisor Ed Hager said the event, which doubles as a barbecue dinner, was a success.

"We've been doing this a long time," Hager said. "It seems like a lot of our buyers and community like it."

The auction allows individuals and businesses to purchase FFA members' time. Each bid begins at $8 a hour and includes four hours of work.

Junior Liberty Allen said she could offer a lot to a buyer. Last year, she was "sold" to her grandmother, Paula Brown, who owns a hog farm. Brown won the bid again this year at $22 a hour.

"I work at my grandma's a lot doing pig work (and) cattle work," Allen said.

She said she loves animals and has been an FFA member for four years.

The auction helps fund FFA projects throughout the year. Hager said the group is active, including attending career development events at the national and state level and camp at the Lake of the Ozarks.

The high school has 137 students and 110 are FFA members. Due to a rescheduled baseball game, many members were not able to attend the action, but a few were still available for service.

Each member sold at least five meal tickets before the night of the event. Prior to the event, $2,000 worth of tickets were sold.

From 3-7:30 p.m., a dinner of pork steak, baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad and dessert were offered for $10. A hot dog, chips and dessert meal was also offered for $5.

More than 600 pork steaks and 100 hot dogs were sold during the meal or separately at the end of the auction.

Community auctioneer Leon Herigon led the crowd to bid on the students. The highest bid went to Alex Evers for labor totaling $140. Evers will work on the 5K Holler hog farm in Marys Home.

Other businesses participating in the auction included River Region Bank in Jefferson City, Groose Farms and Cole R-5 school.

More than $1,000 was raised during the event.

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