Benefit auction for Lisa Johnson raises $15,350

Amanda Radke
for Tri-State Livestock News
This print, donated by Abby Bischoff was one of the high selling items in the benefit for the late Lisa Johnson. Courtesy photo

On June 13-14, a silent auction was held at South Dakota Junior Hereford Association Field Day in Watertown, S.D., in honor of Lisa Johnson, Huron, S.D., who died on June 3 after suffering from Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), a very rare and fatal brain disorder, which is closely related to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) – commonly referred to as Mad Cow Disease. Doctors believe Johnson’s case was sporadic CJD and not related to BSE or a hereditary case.

Johnson was a respected member of her community, as well as the livestock business, and her friends in the industry organized a benefit to help her family offset the cost of her medical care. One of the event coordinators, Amy Wolff, of Beardsley, Minn., recapped the results of the benefit.

“Words cannot express our thanks and appreciation for everyone who donated, bid and helped with the benefit in any way,” Wolff said. “I am so glad that we were able to put this together for the Johnson family. Because of all of the tremendous support, we were able to raise 15,350 dollars. At nineteen years old, I never thought I would be able to organize a ‘small’ silent auction benefit that would raise that much. It just goes to show that those in the livestock industry are very generous, and I am very fortunate to be involved in the industry and know such amazing people.”

A total of 95 items were donated to the auction, including things like jewelry, home decor, cakes, cookies, semen and embryos.

“Some of the high-selling items included a one-day guided fishing trip on the Missouri River, first pick of Kody Miller’s 2015 lamb crop, several embryos and a framed print donated by Abby Bischoff from her ‘Abandoned South Dakota’ project,” said Wolff. “We had people that were bidding from several states away. The support was truly amazing. The money will be given to the Johnson family to use as they please, whether it is to help defray medical expenses or set up a memorial scholarship It is their decision, but we were just happy to be able to give back to such a wonderful family in memory of Lisa.”

For those interested in supporting the Johnson family, an online site — — has been set up to accept donations. Additionally, a second fundraiser will be held at the Huron High School on June 28 starting at 5 p.m. The event will include a meal, silent auction and live auction. Auction items include a wooden barn quilt, lamb and pork bundle, Western art prints, and other great items.

For updates on the upcoming fundraiser, check out “Love for Mama Johnson” on Facebook. To learn more about CJD, visit