Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

August 16, 1999

Press conference planned to announce silent ag auction

The Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) at the University of Guelph will host a press conference Friday, Aug. 20 at 11 a.m. in Woodstock to announce Canada's Biggest Silent Ag Auction.

The auction will benefit OAC in recognition of its 125th anniversary. Proceeds will support student financial assistance and recruitment efforts.

The press conference will serve as a sneak preview of items that will be auctioned. The event will be held in the greenhouse at the University's Research Station in Woodstock, the site of Canada's Outdoor Farm Show. There will be remarks by Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; Ginty Jocius, show president; and University and agricultural industry officials.

"The target of the silent auction is to raise $125,000 for OAC to mark its 125 years," Jocius said.

Exhibitors at the farm show, which runs Sept. 14-16 in Woodstock, are being invited to donate products and services for the silent auction. Show attendees will be able to bid on items during the three-day event, with top bidders to be announced at the end of each day.

Rob McLaughlin, OAC dean, said Canada's Outdoor Farm Show has great relevance for the agricultural college. "Naturally, we feel comfortable celebrating our past. But we really want to contribute to the future and clearly that is what this Silent Ag Auction is about."

Most OAC students end up working in agri-business for the same exhibitors who attend the show, McLaughlin said. "It is nice to have exhibitors lining up to help us because, at the end of the day, it is going to benefit them too. There will be a greater number of well-qualified students who will eventually be their employees."

Don Blackburn, OAC 125 Committee co-chair, added the proceeds will allow the University to provide assistance to more students, with funds managed through the OAC Alumni Foundation. "There is a significant need and a shortfall of available graduates in agricultural fields."

For information on the press conference or Silent Ag Auction, contact Sue Bennett, OAC dean's office, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 6832.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 3338.

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