Mike Nuss talks his way to Reserve Champion Auctioneer at 2011 ILAC | TSLN.com

Mike Nuss talks his way to Reserve Champion Auctioneer at 2011 ILAC

Heather Hamilton

Photo by Heather HamiltonMike Nuss of Minatare, NE sold his way to a Reserve Champion finish at this year's International Livestock Auctioneering Contest, held July 15-16 in conjunction with the Calgary Stampede.

The 2011 International Livestock Auctioneer Competition (ILAC) was held July 15-16 in conjunction with the Calgary Stampede in Calgary, AB. Twenty-one contestants from Canada, the U.S. and Australia gathered to showcase their skills in the two-day competition.

When the last animal had been sold, Minatare, NE auctioneer Mike Nuss, who sells for Torrington Livestock of Wyoming, Crawford Livestock of Nebraska and Platte Valley Livestock of Nebraska, walked away with the Overall Reserve Champion Auctioneer title. He followed champion Rodney Burnette, of Armstrong, BC, by less than three points.

“It was a pretty tough competition, and it was close. I thought I did as good a job as I could, and after that it’s in the judge’s hands. Everyone has their opinion, and you have to live with what they decide. I’m fine with how it turned out. Rodney did an awful nice job on Saturday, and was a deserving winner,” Nuss said of the results.

“This contest started about 21 years ago with Canadians and Americans competing to see who was the best, and is truly an international contest today. Our committee works each year with one of three local markets the contest rotates between. The barn has to collect the cattle, sort them for each auctioneer to sell and make sure they’re presented properly,” said ILAC Committee Chair Greg Sanderson of what goes into organizing the preliminary round of competition.

“There are also 40 local producers who submit an animal with their brand on it for the top 10 auctioneers to sell in the final round,” Sanderson continued. “There is usually some history to the brand, and each finalist will read about the brand prior to selling the animal. It’s huge to put together each year, and the auctioneers always show up and do a whale of a job, and that makes it successful.”

Among the judges at the 2011 ILAC was Livestock Marketing Association President and 2006 World Champion Auctioneer David Macedo, of Tulare, CA, who said he thought it was a fantastic competition that was hard to judge.

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“You try to pick apart each guy’s voice – which for me means listening to their chant, clarity of chant, and how they conduct the sale. That is all huge when judging, but I also try to adjust to each individual style that the guy would use in his hometown, home state, or even country, because everybody is different, and every area has a different style. As a judge I try to adjust to that and take that into consideration for each contestant.

“Mike Nuss, in my opinion, is one of the elite auctioneers in the world. He’s just an absolutely wonderful human being, and, as an auctioneer and industry man, is top-notch,” Macedo stated.

“What makes this contest so unique in comparison to other contests is the spectrum of auctioneers. It’s great to see young guys compete, because that means our industry is alive and well, and that the future looks good,” continued Macedo, speaking about the range of experience present at this year’s contest, which included seven rookie contestants. He added that to be considered a rookie, an auctioneer must have graduated from auctioneer school within the last five years.

“For young guys to be able to sit with gentlemen like Mike, and watch him sell – I think that’s as good as it gets. Allowing them watch an experienced guy and learn from him is invaluable, and it’s a great thing to see,” Macedo continued.

“I went to auctioneer school in 1977, and got started selling in earnest about 1979 or 1980, after bumping around for a couple years trying to get going. I started in Gering, NE, at Platte Valley Livestock, and I still sell there occasionally,” explained Nuss of his start, which lead to a successful career in both the sale barn and competition rings.

“My first WLAC was in 1981, in Minneapolis/St. Paul. I’ve been to that contest around a dozen times, in the finals about 10 times, and was Reserve Champion in the world in 1984. I’ve been to a few state contests in Nebraska, and went to the Greater Midwest Contest once, which I won. That’s one of the very few that I went to once and won,” Nuss said of his earlier competition days.

“Then I kind of quit competing for several years. Here lately, my wife and I thought contests would be a nice way to take a little trip in the summertime and have something more to do than just site see. We took the, ‘kill two birds with one stone,’ approach, and thought it made for a good excuse to see some new country,” Nuss said of his recent decision to compete again.

“The auctioneer method of selling cattle is one way to establish the market, and I don’t know how else a person could do it. You hear, ‘price discovery,’ topics bantered about, but that’s really what it is – bantering. True price discovery is a buyer willing to pay a price, and reaching that price through competitive bidding. That’s the true way to receive top market price, and no one can guess what that will be. The auction is how you establish that value,” Nuss said of what he appreciates most about the auctioneering method of marketing livestock.

For more information on the ILAC, or to enter the 2012 contest, contact Sharon Yeast at syeast@calgarystampede.com.

The 2011 International Livestock Auctioneer Competition (ILAC) was held July 15-16 in conjunction with the Calgary Stampede in Calgary, AB. Twenty-one contestants from Canada, the U.S. and Australia gathered to showcase their skills in the two-day competition.

When the last animal had been sold, Minatare, NE auctioneer Mike Nuss, who sells for Torrington Livestock of Wyoming, Crawford Livestock of Nebraska and Platte Valley Livestock of Nebraska, walked away with the Overall Reserve Champion Auctioneer title. He followed champion Rodney Burnette, of Armstrong, BC, by less than three points.

“It was a pretty tough competition, and it was close. I thought I did as good a job as I could, and after that it’s in the judge’s hands. Everyone has their opinion, and you have to live with what they decide. I’m fine with how it turned out. Rodney did an awful nice job on Saturday, and was a deserving winner,” Nuss said of the results.

“This contest started about 21 years ago with Canadians and Americans competing to see who was the best, and is truly an international contest today. Our committee works each year with one of three local markets the contest rotates between. The barn has to collect the cattle, sort them for each auctioneer to sell and make sure they’re presented properly,” said ILAC Committee Chair Greg Sanderson of what goes into organizing the preliminary round of competition.

“There are also 40 local producers who submit an animal with their brand on it for the top 10 auctioneers to sell in the final round,” Sanderson continued. “There is usually some history to the brand, and each finalist will read about the brand prior to selling the animal. It’s huge to put together each year, and the auctioneers always show up and do a whale of a job, and that makes it successful.”

Among the judges at the 2011 ILAC was Livestock Marketing Association President and 2006 World Champion Auctioneer David Macedo, of Tulare, CA, who said he thought it was a fantastic competition that was hard to judge.

“You try to pick apart each guy’s voice – which for me means listening to their chant, clarity of chant, and how they conduct the sale. That is all huge when judging, but I also try to adjust to each individual style that the guy would use in his hometown, home state, or even country, because everybody is different, and every area has a different style. As a judge I try to adjust to that and take that into consideration for each contestant.

“Mike Nuss, in my opinion, is one of the elite auctioneers in the world. He’s just an absolutely wonderful human being, and, as an auctioneer and industry man, is top-notch,” Macedo stated.

“What makes this contest so unique in comparison to other contests is the spectrum of auctioneers. It’s great to see young guys compete, because that means our industry is alive and well, and that the future looks good,” continued Macedo, speaking about the range of experience present at this year’s contest, which included seven rookie contestants. He added that to be considered a rookie, an auctioneer must have graduated from auctioneer school within the last five years.

“For young guys to be able to sit with gentlemen like Mike, and watch him sell – I think that’s as good as it gets. Allowing them watch an experienced guy and learn from him is invaluable, and it’s a great thing to see,” Macedo continued.

“I went to auctioneer school in 1977, and got started selling in earnest about 1979 or 1980, after bumping around for a couple years trying to get going. I started in Gering, NE, at Platte Valley Livestock, and I still sell there occasionally,” explained Nuss of his start, which lead to a successful career in both the sale barn and competition rings.

“My first WLAC was in 1981, in Minneapolis/St. Paul. I’ve been to that contest around a dozen times, in the finals about 10 times, and was Reserve Champion in the world in 1984. I’ve been to a few state contests in Nebraska, and went to the Greater Midwest Contest once, which I won. That’s one of the very few that I went to once and won,” Nuss said of his earlier competition days.

“Then I kind of quit competing for several years. Here lately, my wife and I thought contests would be a nice way to take a little trip in the summertime and have something more to do than just site see. We took the, ‘kill two birds with one stone,’ approach, and thought it made for a good excuse to see some new country,” Nuss said of his recent decision to compete again.

“The auctioneer method of selling cattle is one way to establish the market, and I don’t know how else a person could do it. You hear, ‘price discovery,’ topics bantered about, but that’s really what it is – bantering. True price discovery is a buyer willing to pay a price, and reaching that price through competitive bidding. That’s the true way to receive top market price, and no one can guess what that will be. The auction is how you establish that value,” Nuss said of what he appreciates most about the auctioneering method of marketing livestock.

For more information on the ILAC, or to enter the 2012 contest, contact Sharon Yeast at syeast@calgarystampede.com.

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