Generations before David was born, eighty acres of their small family farm in Nebraska had been separated out and willed to a distant relative. Coming from a long line of farmers David heard this story over and over as a child, and it fueled a passion within him to make the farm whole again.
In 2011, David and his family learned that the precious eighty acres was going to be sold at auction within a couple of weeks. David knew in his heart he had to give it his very best effort and was determined to win it back – and after two weeks of meticulous planning, creative thinking and sleepless nights, he and his father came up with their ‘best number’, and headed for auction.
When they walked through the door of the Auction House that night, their hearts immediately sank. The place was packed with over 200 farmers, most of whom had much larger farms, more resources, and could outbid him and his father many times over.
David thought there was no way they would have enough money to outbid the other farmers.
The Auctioneer called the session to order and asked for the first bid. David and his dad looked at each other, took a deep breath, and made theirs. The Auctioneer acknowledged their bid, and then called for a second.
Silence fell over the room.
After many attempts to solicit another bid, the Auctioneer took a break. Three times they took breaks, and each time everyone remained completely silent. Eventually, the auctioneer had to slam down the gavel and give David and his father the winning bid.
As it turns out, those 200 farmers did not attempt to bid because they wanted the family to get their land back.
“I’ve had two profoundly humbling days in my life,” David said. “The first was the day my son was born. The second was that unforgettable day at the auction house.”