Yoder Brothers is an Amish auction company run by brothers Willis and Leroy Yoder. I recently came across some upcoming auction listings, and even some videos of the brothers on YouTube.
The pair were also profiled in a 2017 Goshen News article, on the occasion of Willis being inducted into the Michigan Auction Hall of Fame:
Together, Leroy and Willis operate Yoder Brothers Auctions and Appraisals. They are licensed in Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Yoder said he also sells at Shipshewana Antique Auction each Wednesday and at the horse auction on Fridays.
Yoder was born and raised in Clare, Michigan and moved to Shipshewana in 2000. He said he always wanted to be an auctioneer and attended the Reppert School of Auctioneering in 1991.
“I was in my early 20s when I went to auctioneering school,” he said. “I started following my dreams.”
He said while he was at the school, “One of the instructors told us only 3 percent of people who graduate from auction school make a full-time living from being an auctioneer. That scared the daylights out of me so I went home and worked hard.”
That work has paid off in an auctioneering career for Yoder. His company conducts all sorts of auctions in the five states where they are licensed.
The brothers conduct two large consignment auctions for farm equipment and miscellaneous items each year and help Michigan fur trappers sell their furs at seven fur auctions annually in that state.
Leroy & Willis Yoder in action
Here’s Leroy Yoder demonstrating bid calling in both English and Pennsylvania Dutch. Impressive how he effortlessly flips between the two:
And here is an extended profile of Willis Yoder. It’s 14 minutes long, but worth the watch. Willis is a true pro. He gives you some of the behind-the-scenes of auctioneering. He also discusses how not all Amish accepted Amishmen as auctioneers initially, and how that has changed. Some great footage capturing the upbeat atmosphere of these events as well:
Willis describes auctions as “a way of life” for Amish. They are integral business, social and community support events (e.g., benefit auctions).
Here’s part of the bill (no longer online) for a Yoder Brothers farm auction to be held in Blanchard, MI. I noticed some catchy horse names on the bill: “Turbo”, “Flashy”, and my favorite, “Balanced Bandit”.