Those who know John Goelz might be surprised to know there was a time in his life when he didn’t like speaking in public.
“I was a shy boy,” said Goelz, adding, however, a program he got involved in helped bring him out of his shell in a big way.
That program was 4-H, and growing up in Redwood County Goelz has a lot of fond memories from his time as a member of the Golden Gophers 4-H Club.
“I remember doing lots of demonstrations,” he said, adding he recalled doing one on shearing a sheep at the state fair. “I did the demonstration without a mic, because I was afraid I would cut the cord.”
So, he not only learned to speak in front of a crowd, but he also discovered the important lesson of speaking out so everyone could hear.
Those lessons led Goelz to a career in the field of auctioneering, which is something he has been doing for decades.
Along the way, he decided to take that experience as an auctioneer and use it to help give back to the 4-H program that had given so much to him. This Saturday, Goelz is set to serve as the auctioneer during the Redwood County 4-H livestock auction for the 51st consecutive year.
“I finished auction school in ’62 and started doing the 4-H auction in ’63,” said Goelz.
His involvement with 4-H auctions actually started the year before when he served as the ring man for the state 4-H auction. Goelz said he enjoys the chance to do the auction each year, adding over the years he has gotten to know many of the bidders and the families.
“When you don’t see them one year you miss them. Some of them have been at the auction for 30-plus years,” he said, adding with a smile he always knew when it was an election year because in those years there were more county commissioners in the audience bidding on items.
Known to offer a joke or two during his auctions, Goelz said he enjoys the chance to make the event fun.
Goelz, who showed livestock at the fair when he was a 4-Her and had his own children in the program, is now seeing the third generation show, as his oldest grandchild is a Cloverbud in Pipestone County.
Naturally, that means traveling down to that fair, too.
Goelz and his wife, Alice, attend the fair every year and enjoy watching the sheep and beef shows, as well as walking through the 4-H building just to see what the 4-Hers have done.
“The 4-Hers all do a great job,” he said.
Page 2 of 2 - Goelz who has been recognized for his efforts in 4-H at the state level, is going to be named the Redwood County Friend of 4-H during the livestock auction this Saturday.
The auction starts at 1 p.m. A meet and greet meal for 4-Hers in the auction and prospective bidders starts at 12:30 p.m.
Goelz said the 4-H livestock auction committee does an excellent job getting the auction ready and making sure there are good bids for each 4-Her.
“A lot of the 4-Hers use that money from the auction to get a start on their project for next year,” he added.
Goelz’ advice for 4-Hers when they enter the auction ring is to have fun and smile big.