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Auction house ‘a game changer’

South Boston News / May 18, 2017
A veteran livestock auctioneer in Delaware is branching out with a new auction house in Nathalie, filling a market need that members of the agricultural community have long been looking to fill.

“This could be a game changer for producers in Halifax County, especially for the smaller sized farms,” said Kimley Blanks, ag marketing cirector for Halifax County. “It is without a doubt a step in the right direction to move agriculture forward in the community.”

Gene and Mary Dill recently obtained a conditional use permit to operate Hollering Hill Auction at 4097 Hunting Creek Road, Nathalie. The new business will handle auctions for livestock including sheep, cattle and goats, and they also are proposing to sell flowers, produce and hay.

Dill, owner and operator, visited the county about five years ago and said he was drawn to its community of hard-working families, many with a heritage rich in agriculture. His initial trip was to haul horses down from Delaware to a few local Amish families. On subsequent trips, Dill would ride around and visit with a few locals.

It wasn’t long, he said, before he started to think Halifax County would be a great location for a livestock auction.

Dill is owner-operator of a highly successful auction business, Dill’s Auction in Wyoming, Del. But with everything going on in Delaware with his auction business and family, Dill said, he just didn’t think that he could make another auction work in Halifax.

In August, Robert Colalentz, who is part of Halifax County’s Amish community, showed up at Dill’s Auction and said that he had heard that Dill wanted to start an auction in Halifax. Robert and another local Amish man, Jesse Gingrich, offered to help.

The encouragement made Dill think a second auction house in Halifax County could work. Things starting happening quickly, as he located and purchased the land where the auction house is now being built.

Dill said people in the county have been so nice that he is also building a getaway home in Halifax for his family.

“I promise I will always be humble and kind. I hope I can bring great things to the county,” Dill said of his hopes for the future.

Dill is scheduled to speak at the next Southern Virginia Meat Goat Association (SVMGA) meeting on Thursday, May 25 at 7 p.m. at the Halifax County Agricultural Center. Members have opened the meeting for the general public to attend, free of charge. Dill will discuss his plans and goals for the auction house at that time.

The first auction is tentatively set for mid-to-late August.

Anyone with questions about the new auction house is encouraged to contact Blanks, at 434-476-3300 ext. 3331.

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Robert's name is "Coblentz" not "Colalanetz"

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