3rd generation North Dakota farmer closes shop as Ritchie Bros. brings the auction to the farm
It’s April 2015. Men and women are wandering around the Grossman Farms yard in Linton, North Dakota, walking between hulking red machines before checking out hundreds of other items up for sale. Trucks with the Ritchie Bros. brand line the yard’s edges and orange flags flicker in the breeze, as more people line up to register for the
complete dispersal on-the-farm auction.
Those were some of the sights that greeted the hundreds of people who attended the auction, which marked both an end and a beginning.
After 55+ years, Grossman Farms closes its doors
Grossman Farms was started in 1958 by Erwin Grossman. As time passed, Erwin’s two sons Richard and Jerry took the reins. Even as the farm continued to grow, family remained a constant.
“This has always been a family business,” says Brian Grossman, Erwin’s grandson and Richard’s son, who started working on the farm immediately after high school.
Brian went on to college, graduating with a degree in agricultural economics. Upon returning to the farm, he saw that he wanted to go in a different direction than the family farm. As his parents were closing in on retirement age, the Grossmans decided to call it a day and
sell the farm.
Brian had always known about Ritchie Bros., having gone to an auction in Buxton as a little boy. After some preliminary research, he gave them a call.
“The next day,” Brian says, “they showed up, looked over everything, and told us what we needed to do.”
Preparing for the full-service farm auction
With more than 12,000 acres and 300 head of cattle, Grossman Farms had its fair share of equipment to sell. For Brian, it was important that the
auction take place on the farm.
“We had so much equipment,” he says. “There was no other option, in our opinion.”
Ritchie Bros. immediately got to work, sending a crew of experts to Linton, North Dakota to take care of the details, lining up the 400+ equipment items—from farm tractors to truck tractors, combines to wheel loaders—and getting everything prepared for the full-service, Ritchie Bros. auction.
“Any issues—all the random little stuff that comes up—they took care of it right away,” he says. “There was always a constant line of communication between us, and I was very satisfied with the customer service.
“Ritchie Bros. advertised really heavily as well,” he adds. “They’re known for having bigger equipment, and they draw a big crowd of bidders. The more competition, the more people are willing to bid, which normally leads to a higher price.”
Hundreds of buyers turn out for auction day
On April 8, 2015, all 400+ equipment items and trucks—including a huge selection of quality, late-model Case IH equipment—sold to the highest bidders, with 850+ people registering to bid both on-site at the farm and online at rbauction.com.
“It went smooth and I was very satisfied with how everything went,” he says. “I was busy the whole time—a lot of people had questions about the equipment and I was there to answer them.”
As the auction came to a close, Brian remembers being excited that it was done—all of it gone in a day. For Brian, now 28, it was time to move on—in this case, literally, as he had a position lined up in Chicago, where he now lives and works.
Sell your farmland and farm equipment with Ritchie Bros.
Thousands of companies sell farmland and farm equipment with Ritchie bros. every year—from one single combine to an entire farm. Watch this video to hear about another farmer’s experience selling at a Ritchie Bros. on-the-farm auction:
Learn more farm auctions with Ritchie Bros., or contact us to discuss your selling options.
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