Baker earns title of 'Colonel' from Missouri Auction School

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[February 19, 2013]  EMDEN -- There is a song by LeRoy Van Dyke about a young man who hears the auctioneer chant and is enthralled with it to the extent that he decides it is the career he will choose for himself.

The lyrics include:

There was a boy in Arkansas

Who wouldn't listen to his ma

When she told him he should go to school.

He'd sneak away in the afternoon,

Take a little walk, then pretty soon,

You'd find him at the local auction barn.

He'd stand and listen carefully.

Then pretty soon he began to see

How the auctioneer could talk so rapidly.

He said, "Oh my, it's do or die.

I've got to learn that auction cry.

Gotta make my mark and be an auctioneer.

Change the Arkansas to Illinois and you have in a nutshell what motivated young Cole Baker of Emden to go to auctioneer school.

"There is a song called ‘The Auctioneer' by LeRoy Van Dyke. Ever since I was little I have wanted to become an auctioneer. Also I really enjoy public speaking and working with people. So what could be better than pursue a career as an auctioneer," Baker said recently.

In January he attended the Missouri Auction School, the world's largest auction training center, for a six-day course learning the tricks of the trade, as well as some of the business aspects. The course, which is entitled "Auctioneering and Auction Sales Management," involves attending lectures and workshops featuring prominent auctioneers from throughout America and participating in selling at numerous public auctions in nearby communities.

Courses of study also include antiques, livestock, furniture, business liquidations, real estate, auto, machinery, general merchandise and all types of estate auctions.

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At the end of the training, Baker earned the honorary title of "Colonel," a title that dates back to the days of the Civil War, when troop colonels were responsible for auctioning off the spoils of battle.

Baker says that now that he has his title, he hopes to soon be putting it to good use, gaining experience working for some of the local auctioneers.

In the meantime, as a Hartem senior, Baker still needs to graduate, and he also has plans to go on to Lincoln Land Community College. When finished there, he plans to transfer to Illinois State University in Normal, where he will complete his degree in agricultural education.

Baker is the son of Randy Baker of Emden and Jerry and Dara Entwistle of New Holland.

He is a four-year member of the Hartem FFA and participated on the agriculture issues team two years. He is currently the Section 14 FFA president and serves as the president of the Hartsburg-Emden FFA.

Baker is also a member of the Hollanders 4-H group and the Logan County 4-H Federation. He is a member of St. Peter's Youth, the Illinois Junior Hereford Association, the Illinois Beef Association and shows Hereford cattle around the state.


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