A wedding planner drove away in a stretch limo, a farmer forked over $125,000 for a John Deere tractor and a thrift shop owner added a 1991 GMC bread truck to his inventory.
Come Friday, the 235-acre cow pasture across from Norfleet Cattle Company and Southern Fuelwood, Inc. in Newberry that was packed on Feb. 27 with hundreds of vehicles, tractors, grain haulers, tools and farm decor will be nothing but roaming cattle and towering live oak trees again.
But for the father and son team of Matt and Colby Westmoreland, the new record in crowd size and sales will be hard to beat for their farm equipment sales company WW Auction Company based in High Springs.
On Wednesday, they were still at the auction site waiting for buyers to pick up their goods and to hand out certificates of title to those who purchased vehicles.
“It’s the biggest sale we’ve had in 10 years,” said Matt, who hosts two sales a year at his property in High Springs.
“Location, location, location,” they said in unison as the explanation for the record sales that happened during the nine-hour long event last Saturday.
“All the farmers came by and saw us and started dragging stuff in,” Matt said about how the auction inventory continued to accumulate even on the day of the auction.
“We had quality pieces and a heck of a crowd,” said Colby who was surprised that the 8360R John Deere topped out at $125,000. The giant tractor has a 360-horsepower engine and hydraulics that can lift more than 18,000 pounds.
Even the novelty items were going for top dollar, Colby said.
With more than 400 cars arriving for the event and about 1,000 people in attendance throughout the day, the Westmorelands agree they need to chat and make plans with property owner Pat Post, who also owns Southern Fuelwood and the Woodyard Grill in Newberry.
According to Post, who sells firewood to woodburning restaurants, the pandemic hit his businesses hard. Post entered more than 30 pieces to sell in the auction including semi trucks.
Officially, the auction was known as the Pat Post Farm Spring Auction.
Post said the idea went from a discussion about selling his equipment to a full-fledged regional farm equipment auction in just a few weeks time.
“Five weeks ago Matt said let’s try it,” Post recalled. “And it was a great success.”
Too successful to stop now.
“We’re probably going to try to have one in the fall is what I’m thinking,” Post said. “This one was overwhelming for them and a lot bigger deal than they thought it would be.”
Matt and Colby have been too busy closing out the books for the Feb. 27 auction to discuss scheduling another one with Post, they said, but they are up for it.
Post agreed and said, “We’re going to do some more there, we just haven’t discussed it yet.”