The annual Farmers Bowl Auction will be held Saturday, Sept. 12. The event is the grand finale to the Farmers Bowl festival that teams up Mayville State University with the community to celebrate the area’s agricultural way of life. Proceeds of the Farmers Bowl Auction are used to benefit Mayville State University and its students.

The Farmers Bowl Auction includes both silent and live auction events, and auction-goers will find a great variety of auction items on which to bid again this year. There are items that will be of interest to young and old, and there will be large to small-ticket items … and everything in-between. Those who wish to make a smaller investment can participate in the key raffle, sponsored by Kelley Bean. They’ll have a 50:50 chance of winning a prize. The raffle drawings for a $1,000 cash prize and for an original watercolor painting by Doug Anderson will take place during the auction event, as well.

cooking_demo-web.jpgTheme parties always go over big at the Farmers Bowl Auction. This year, there are a number of them available. Mindy O’Connor, Sheri Peterson, and Cheryl Angen are hosting a Trivial Pursuit progressive dinner that will be a hit with trivia lovers. The MSU Alumni Association board members will host a Valentine Sock Hop at the MSU Larson Center, where Lute and Paula Simley will provide the music and lead the guests in dancing and 50s-style party games. Bryan Karolus will be providing the 50s vintage food and drink. Shelley Wold of Beaver Creek Bed and Breakfast, together with her daughter Aryn Roeder, are donating a dinner party to be held at the bed and breakfast. There are also parties for children in a variety of themes, including magic, Comets women’s basketball, and fairy garden. Darla Peterson will help a party of 10 paint their own masterpieces. John Klocke will host a Christmas, Chocolate, and Champagne holiday show for a group of 20 people.

The list goes on and on! There will be memorabilia from MSU’s historic Old Gym, household items, a custom-made patio set, photo packages, motel getaways, hand-crafted items, toys for kids, artwork, and much more! You can see a preview of the auction catalog at

MSU_shirts-web.jpgAuction committee members expect that an encore culinary adventure with Chef Tony will be a hot item on this year’s live auction. Chef Tony, “The Lost Italian,” Nasello has become known throughout the region for his entertaining cooking classes, as well as his passion for food, wine, and excellent service. He and his wife, Sarah, have recently turned their renowned restaurant, Sarello’s, in Moorhead, into Sarello’s Culinary Events and Meeting Center, where they host dinner events, meetings, private or group culinary classes, and much more.

Last June Tony and Sarah were the stars of a culinary experience held at the home of Brent and Bonnie Freeland. The Freelands, together with their friends, Corey and Tracy McGillis, Brent and Jennifer Kohls, Scott and Leah Larson, Brett and Laura Brudvik, and Shannon and Denise Bergstrom, hosted a dinner party for eight couples, who had purchased the outing at the 2014 Farmers Bowl Auction, and were absolutely thrilled by the wonderful experience provided by the Tony, Sarah, and the party hosts. The North Dakota-inspired menu included several courses and wines from Bear Creek Vineyard in Fargo. Chef Tony gave cooking demonstrations and visited with guests before each course to talk about the wines and guide them through the tasting.

plating-web.jpgTony and Sarah write a weekly food and wine column called “Home with the Lost Italian” for the Fargo Forum, and featured the June party at the Freeland home in the June 17, 2015 column. Chef Tony later spoke of the experience on the North Dakota Today morning program which airs on KVLY television. The dinner hosts had provided the Nasellos with gift bags which included Mayville State T-shirts, and Tony proudly wore his while he talked about the evening during his segment on the show.

“We are grateful to all who have donated items for the 2015 Farmers Bowl Auction,” said MSU Annual Giving Coordinator Dena Bergstrom. “People have been unbelievably generous, and we look forward to the auction where people will have the opportunity to see and purchase some wonderful items while supporting Mayville State University and its students. We encourage everyone to attend the auction. It will be a great time.”

The doors to the MSU Luckasen Room will open at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, when the silent auction, sponsored by Alerus, begins. Mayville State’s newly hired Dining Services director, Bryan Karolus, is offering up a few new items on the hors d’oeuvres buffet this year, including Italian beef and pizza burger sliders. They’ll also be slicing up freshly smoked turkey, and serving it along with some of the traditional Farmers Bowl Auction menu items. The buffet opens at 5:30 p.m., and the excitement of the live auction will begin at 7 p.m., with Wayne Trottier and Butch Lovas calling the bids.

Admission tickets sell for $25 each and can be purchased online at or at May-Port Hardware Hank and the MSU Bookstore. All who purchase auction admission tickets will be entered into a drawing for a $500 cash prize, sponsored by Lindsey Brown of Pifer‘s Auction and Realty. Lindsey is also sponsoring a raffle that will take place during the auction event. One hundred $20 tickets will be sold for a chance to win $500.

Farmers Bowl 2015 will kick off with the “Farmers Bowl Field Frenzy 5K” run/walk. A parade will begin north of the Goose River Bank and make its way down Main Street to MSU’s Jerome Berg Field, starting at 10 a.m. Everyone is invited to attend the corn and hot dog feed sponsored by the Comet Athletic Club. It begins right after the parade, just outside of Jerome Berg Field. A farmers market will also be held there at that time. The Farmers Bowl football game, featuring the Mayville State Comets versus Trinity Bible College, begins at 1 p.m. at Jerome Berg Field.

For more information about Farmers Bowl, go to or call 701-788-4864.

Photo Captions: 

Top: Chef Tony gives a cooking demonstration with his guests gathered around the center island at the Freeland kitchen.

Middle: Chef Tony (left) and his wife, Sarah, were happy to find Mayville State University T-shirts in their gift bags from the party hosts.

Bottom: Chef Tony (left) plates up the main event: carved bison tenderloin with blackberry sauce, bleu cheese whipped potatoes, and grilled vegetables. He is assisted by Brent Kohls (right).