Silent auction for Lisa Johnson is June 13-14 |

Silent auction for Lisa Johnson is June 13-14

Amanda Radke
for Tri-State Livestock News

Sometimes bad things happen to good people. That was the case for Lisa Johnson, Huron, S.D., who dealt with the daily challenges of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD). Lisa died of the disease Tuesday, June 3.

After what doctors initially thought was a double ear and sinus infection, they finally diagnosed Johnson with 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 well-known in the agricultural community across the state. Her family is heavily involved in the show industry, participating in cattle and sheep events on local, state and regional levels. Johnson’s big personality and love for competition endeared her to those who met her, and as the agricultural community asks why this would happen to such a wonderful person, they are also working hard to make sure Johnson’s family has support with the medical expenses that came with managing Johnson’s CJD.

On June 13-14, Lisa’s Love For Livestock Silent Auction Benefit will take place at the South Dakota Junior Hereford Association Field Days in Watertown, S.D., at the 4-H Extension complex. Bidding will take place from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Friday and again on Saturday from 9 a.m. until noon.

Friend of the family, Amy Wolff, of Beardsley, Minn., is helping to organize the event and offered some details on the fundraiser and how to support Johnson’s family during this difficult time.

“We have set up a Facebook Group called ‘Lisa’s Love for Livestock Silent Auction Benefit,’ where we will have pictures and descriptions of each item for people to view,” Wolff explained. “If folks are interested in bidding but unable to make it, then we will have people to contact to help with the bidding.”

Individuals don’t have to be present to bid on silent auction items.

A bank account will be set up for the benefit, with details to be posted on the benefit’s Facebook page.

“There is also an online fund already set up to help defray medical costs – – where people can make a direct donation online,” she added.

Wolff is joined by friends Kaylee (Brandt) Tol, Joe Brandt, and Riley Zoss in coordinating this fundraiser. Auction items already donated include embryo packages, Red Barn Creations decorative sign, meat bundles, canvas art prints, jelly baskets, salsa baskets, cappuccino baskets, framed Western prints, copies of children’s book, “Levi’s Lost Calf,” Sullivan Supply gift basket, a two-year subscription to The Showtimes Jr. Livestock Magazine, bull semen bundles, and more.

“When Kaylee contacted me and asked me if I was interested in helping put together some sort of benefit, I immediately said yes because I had wanted to do something to support the Johnson family but wasn’t sure where to start!” said Wolff. “This benefit wouldn’t be possible without great support from others and all of those people who have generously donated items to the silent auction. It is great to see all of the support from people in the livestock industry and it really made me realize how blessed I am to be able to be a part of that.”

If interested in donating or bidding contact one of the group’s organizers including: Wolff at 320-815-9638 or; Tol- at 605-949-0995; Brandt at 605-949-2636; or Zoss at 605-630-8895.

“The reason that we are hosting the benefit during the Hereford Field Day is because Kaylee is a past member and is involved in helping with various events; Courtney, Lisa’s daughter, is the current president of the South Dakota Junior Hereford Association, and her brother Jeremiah is also a member,” she said. “Additionally, some of Lisa’s family are purebred Hereford breeders who own and operate Ravine Creek Ranch and are very active within the Hereford breed and beef industry. So we felt it was the perfect opportunity to have the benefit take place during this event. Lisa was very passionate about the livestock industry, so it’s only fitting to host this benefit auction during a livestock event.”

Wolff described Johnson as “a fun-loving, kind-hearted lady, who never missed a show.”

“Over the years, Courtney and I have become friends,” she said. “Even though she is a few years older than me, we would hang out at shows and help each other out in the show ring, if needed. I can always picture Lisa with a serious look on her face standing ringside, but at the end of the day, no matter the placing, she was still upbeat and happy. Lisa was a competitive show mom who encouraged her kids to do their best and instilled them with values that made them successful in and out of the show ring. It is very evident that they are competitive, yet compassionate people. It’s safe to say that if Lisa was around at a show, everyone was happy and having a good time.”

Other fundraisers include a benefit photo session with three companies – Lake Haus Productions, Craig Lee Studios, and Flock Studio – teaming up to offer family mini sessions on June 13 from 5-9 p.m. at Riverside Park in Huron, S.D. The sessions are already booked up, and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the Johnson family.

Another 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.

Check back on Facebook – Lisa’s Love For Livestock Silent Auction Benefit or Love for Mama Johnson – for additional details. To learn more about CJD, visit