Sept. 9, 2022


CONTACT: Scott Heiberger

Auction of Champions celebrates 40 years

Annual gala, Sept. 15, supports farm safety and health  

The Auction of Champions, an annual gala to support the National Farm Medicine Center and its agricultural safety and health initiatives, is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 15, at RiverEdge Golf Course, Marshfield, Wis.

The Auction, presented by Miron Construction, is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The late farm broadcaster Les Leonard spearheaded establishment of the Auction with WDLB colleagues Jack Hackman and Bill Allen, along with support from founding Farm Medicine Director Dean Emanuel, M.D. The first Auction of Champions was held in 1982 and raised $11,000. Since then, the Auction has raised more than $5 million for the National Farm Medicine Center’s research, outreach and education efforts.

In addition to generating funds for research, the Auction continues to benefit youth, those 4-H and FFA members who raise and show their animals. Generous donors, usually local businesses, purchase thousands of dollars’ worth of champion livestock each year for the Auction, money that goes back into the pockets of these youngsters, encouraging them to pursue even bigger college and career dreams. Those prime quality meat packages are then featured as live and silent auction items at the Auction of Champions along with hundreds of other exciting packages including: golf getaways, fishing and hunting trips, Caribbean and Alaskan getaways, jewelry, artwork, patio and landscaping packages, sporting goods, tractors/mowers, home furnishings and ATVs.

You can register for The Golden Auction by visiting the Marshfield Clinic Health System Foundation website

To view prime meat packages when they arrive, visit the virtual silent auction.

Bidding for the silent auction will open at 8 a.m., Sept. 12, and close at 8 p.m., Sept. 15. Bid from anywhere, farm or field, on any device with an internet connection.

Over the past year, the National Farm Medicine Center has addressed the challenges of agricultural safety and health in Wisconsin and beyond by:

  • Offering rebate incentives for farmers to retrofit old tractors with life-saving roll bars through the Wisconsin Rollover Protection Structure (ROPS) Rebate Program.
  • Protecting the safety and health of emergency responders by training them to safely handle hazards specific to farm environments in a rescue training program led by Farm Medicine and Pittsville Fire Department.
  • Developing an inventory of mental health programs available to farmers to assess the challenges and opportunities to better support farmers’ mental health.
  • Supported and advised Veteran Affairs initiatives aimed at recruiting and training military veterans with agricultural-based community reintegration programs.
  • Supporting AgInjuryNews (, an online database of agricultural injury reports, to monitor trends, identify new injury agents and emerging issues, provide safety messages for media reports and raise awareness and knowledge of agricultural injuries and prevention strategies for adults and children.
  • Editing and assembling a special issue of the Journal of Agromedicine, the world’s leading source of peer-reviewed translational research related to agricultural health, safety and medicine. Farm Medicine has edited the journal since 2004. ​​
  • Engaging in outreach and education activities including a Safe Play Area and Farm Safety and Rescue Area at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days.
  • Leveraging funds from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, via Farm Medicine’s National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, to conduct research and provide resources to make farms safer for children and adolescents.

PHOTO CAPTION: National Farm Medicine Center Director Casper Bendixsen, Ph.D., served as a bid spotter during the market animal auction at the 2022 Central Wisconsin State Fair. Generous donors, usually local businesses, purchase thousands of dollars’ worth of champion livestock each year for the Auction of Champions.



Casper Bendixsen image (.jpg)