Reuer runner-up at 2013 SDAA bid calling contest
By Sandy Bond
From robotics to Legos, woodworking to welding, and even entomology, young people across the country are learning the sky’s the limit in today’s 4-H.
Joining that movement are Lewis and Katrina Reuer, who wear many hats, but still find the time to give back to their community.
“People still think of 4-H as farm oriented, and it can be with vegetables, livestock, rabbits and static exhibits,” Lewis said. “Many things are changing about 4-H but sometimes change is good. Our county commissioner Denis Arbach has been a staunch supporter of the 4-H program.”
Lewis and Katrina said they are extremely excited about the new shooting sports program that is being formed.
The Reuer family, dad Randy and mom Louise, and children Lewis, Rocky and Shawna operated a diversified operation raising dairy cattle and hogs 10 miles south of the WEB towers. In 1999, they moved the operation to Highway 12 close to the edge of the Walworth and Edmunds County line.
Many residents have seen the damage to the former residence caused by a tornado that passed through that area three years ago.
“Mom and I were talking on the phone and she mentioned she had never seen such unusual clouds,” he said. Just about that time a gal and her infant pulled into the farm and asked to use their basement; there was a tornado predicted to hit this area. They all hid in the basement and Louise remarked later it sounded like “a freight train roaring through the house.”
Lewis began participating in 4-H when he was just eight years old. He attended Bowdle High School, which had an absolutely incredible Future Farmers of America program, he said.
While in high school he met Katrina, the second oldest of five children born to Gary and Cindy McCloud, through the Future Farmers of America club in Hoven High School. After Lewis graduated he attended Lake Area Vocational Technical College and majored in diesel mechanics. Katrina also attended Lake Area Vocational Technical College and majored in Ag business. She was employed for a time for Midwest Cooperatives in Onida. Lewis had fallen in love with auctioneering. Lewis and wife Katrina and their children Matt, 9, Kaden, 4, and Jaycee, 16 months, are involved in the family business of M and R Auctioneering and are committed to keeping it going strong. Lewis was named the 2013 South Dakota Auctioneers Association Bid Calling Contest 1st Runner-up. They also aspire to start a small herd of 40 or so of Charolais cattle.
He and Katrina also are leaders of the Swan Creek 4-H Club, and his mom, Louise is still active as a 4-H leader. Lewis and Katrina’s son Matt joined when he was 8 and is already being taught safety requirements and welding.
As they were both in the family auctioneering business, Lewis and Katrina learned auctioneering from the ground up. Both understand the intricacies of the musical fast-talking that continues to amaze even seasoned auction-going veterans.
Randy Reuer and Henry Vandermartin operated Reuer Auctioneers for many years during the 1980s. And Katrina’s parents operated McCloud and Penrod. Today Penrod is more real estate operated and the auctioneer service is now called M & R, L.L.C.
“We try to educate our patrons about what the worth could possibly be of items that are simply gathering dust in their attic,” she said.
The Internet has changed it a lot, Lewis said, as have television shows like “Antique Roadshow.” Many people appreciate receiving Internet copies of upcoming auctions while others appreciate the good old tangible sale bill found in the “Green Sheet.” Each and every auction is an education for them too, he said.
From pies for a local benefit to rare antiques and large farm equipment, they’ve done it all.
“Two weeks ago, there was a small seemingly non-descript auction in Selby,” he said. “Nearly 100 people attended that auction, and the surprise of the day was a gun that went for far more than anybody expected.”
Jenna Malsom, 4-H youth program advisor for Campbell, Edmunds, McPherson and Walworth Counties said Lewis has been a very valuable asset to the Walworth County 4-H team.
“He and his wife Katrina have always offered to lend a hand with whatever is needed,” she said. “It is an honor to work with leaders that have such a positive and outgoing personality and that go the extra mile to see the 4-H program grow.
This is Lewis’ second year as the leader of the Swan Creek Club. Malsom said he is knowledgeable about the activities that are specific to the 4-H program. He helps the members with their livestock projects, rabbits, and static exhibit projects to prepare them to for Achievement Days and also at the State Fair.