Billings market hosting 1st qualifying competition for 2010 WLAC |

Billings market hosting 1st qualifying competition for 2010 WLAC

The winner of LMA’s 2010 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) might be selling cattle Sept. 25 at Public Auction Yards (PAYS), Billings, MT.

The market is hosting the first 2010 WLAC quarterfinal qualifying competition, and there are 29 contestants. Three titlists will be named at each qualifying contest, and the top eight scorers at each contest will be eligible for next June’s WLAC, to be held at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, Inc., Oklahoma City.

The other WLAC quarterfinals will be Oct. 9 at Crawford Livestock Market LLC, Crawford, NE; Oct. 15 at Calhoun Stockyard Hwy. 53, Inc., Calhoun, GA; and Dec. 2 at Parsons Livestock Market, Inc., Parsons, KS.

LMA, the national trade association for progressive businesses like PAYS, created and conducts the WLAC. The Oklahoma City contest will be the 47th annual.

PAYS Manager Bob Cook said he expects about 4,000 cattle for the sale, primarily feeder and stocker cattle “from some of this area’s top producers.” The sale gets underway at 9 a.m.

Cook added, “We’re very excited about hosting the contest, because we know the big crowds they attract. That translates into more buying power, which will benefit our consignors.”

PAYS hosted the WLAC in 1993 and 2004.

LMA President Bobby Smith said the qualifying contests, held across the U.S., “put the spotlight on the outstanding job markets all across the country do to promote and preserve the competitive livestock marketing system – and that’s the best way to get the best price for your livestock.”

These contests and the WLAC, he said, also show the continuing importance of the auctioneer to the competitive marketing process.

Contestants must be at least 18 years old, and employed and sponsored by a livestock market. The contests are actual sales, with buyers on the seats.

The master of ceremonies at each qualifying contest will be Ty Thompson of Billings, the 2009 world champion.

Contest judges, all LMA members, score each contestant on vocal clarity and quality, bid-catching ability, conduct of the sale and personal expression. The judges also ask, “Would I hire this auctioneer?”

Cook extended an invitation to “everyone who enjoys listening to a good auctioneer, to be with us on the 25th.”

The Billings contestants, followed by their hometowns, are:

Jaxon Allen, Lewistown, MT; Justin Banzhaf, Cambridge, NE; Mitch Barthel, New York Mills, MN; Jake Bettencourt, Hilmar, CA; Nick Caspers, Wishek, ND; Jake Cheechov, Eugene, OR;

Chuck Cozzitorto, Hilmar, CA; Doug Dietterle, Meadow, SD; Conrad Green, Munford, AL; Ed Hinton, Scobey, MT; Brennin Jack, Yorkton, Sask.; Ed Knight, Seymour, TN;

Justin Leggett, Cabot, AR; Brian Little, Wann, OK; Alex Mattila, Brush Prairie, WA; Andrew McDowell, Vandalia, IL; Andy Mrnak, Bowman, ND;

Mike Nuss, Minatare, NE; Ted Odle, Brush, CO; Lonnie Rudd, Wilder, ID; Duane Rus, Rock Valley, IA.; Greg Ryken, Yankton, SD; Jake Sanford, Port Orchard, WA.;

Kyle Shobe, Lewistown, MT; Daren Shumway, Mesa, AZ; Preston Smith, Nunn, CO; Larry Don Suckla, Dolores, CO; Richard Venzor, Three Forks, MT; and Shane Wolff, Golden Valley, ND.

The champion in each quarterfinal will receive a cash award and a custom-made belt buckle. The reserve and runner-up champion in each of these contests are also awarded a custom belt buckle.

The three titlists in the June WLAC – the world champion, reserve and runner-up champions – receive thousands of dollars in cash and prizes.

All the qualifying contests, and the WLAC, will be broadcast live at