Ky. auctioneer wins WLAC qualifier |

Ky. auctioneer wins WLAC qualifier

Jay Romine, 2016 WLAC Midwestern Regional Qualifier Champion. Photo courtesy Livestock Marketing Association

Jay Romine, Mt. Washington, Ky., was named Champion at the 2016 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) Midwestern Regional Qualifying Event. Keoco Auction Company, LLC hosted the final of three WLAC qualifying events on Monday, January 11. A total of 28 contestants competed for a top 10 placing, granting them a spot in the 2016 WLAC at Paris Stockyards in Paris, Ky.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Romine decided to become a livestock auctioneer in Kentucky. The decision was a quick one after attending livestock auctions with his father and taking note of all the fun auctioneers seemed to have while on the block.

“They sounded cool, and they were always smiling, laughing and having a good time,” says Romine.

That still rings true today. Romine says his job as a livestock auctioneer does not seem like “work,” as he enjoys the day-to-day job of an auctioneer and loves marketing cattle for producers at Blue Grass Stockyards. He believes that auctioneers should know their product – no matter what is being sold, exhibit honesty and integrity, and follow the Golden Rule by treating others how one would like to be treated.

“I’m not going to let it get the best of me, because I’ve gotten the best from it.” Jay Romine on WLAC World Champion title

This summer’s WLAC will be the fourteenth that Romine has qualified for since 1990, when he first started competing in WLAC qualifiers. While winning the 2016 Midwestern Regional was an honor for Romine, he’s most looking forward to another chance at winning the World Champion title.

“I’m not going to let it get the best of me, because I’ve gotten the best from it,” Romine says of the WLAC, lamenting on the many cherished memories he’s acquired traveling the contest road. His preparation for the interview portion of the WLAC will begin early, though he says his twenty-five year old chant will stay the same.

Romine was sponsored by Blue Grass Marketing Group, Lexington, Ky., and Blue Grass South Livestock Market, LLC, Standford, Ky.

Also making a great showing were Reserve Champion Leon Caselman, Long Lane, Mo.; Runner-Up Kyle Layman, Morland, Kan.; and Top Rookie Aaron Cantrell, Archie, Mo. The following contestants who earned a top ten finish are Philip Gilstrap, Pendleton, S.C.; Brandon Hamel, Damar, Kan.; Garrett Jones, Los Banos, Calif.; Jared Miller, Leon, Iowa; Daniel Mitchell, Cumberland, Ohio; Jason Santomaso, Sterling, Colo.; and Kevin Schow, Paxton, Neb.

A live cattle sale took place with actual bidders in the seats. Contestants were judged on the clarity of their auction chant; vocal quality; ability to catch bids and conduct the sale; and if the judge would hire the auctioneer. Judges for each qualifying event are livestock market owners and managers from across the United States. The Midwestern Regional was judged by Travis Bock, Columbus Sales Pavilion, Columbus, Neb.; Bob Fidler, Fairview Sale Barn, Fairview, Ill.; Darrell Ford, Hope Livestock Auction, Hope, Ark.; Brian Glick, Belleville Livestock Market, Belleville, Penn., and Brandon Hickey, Elk City Livestock Auction, Elk City, Okla.

Other contestants who competed are Ross Annett, Brooks, Alberta; Zach Ballard, Creston, Iowa; Glenn Berkner, Sleepy Eye, Minn.; Billy Bruce, Fair Play, Mo.; Brent Croom, Dyer, Tenn.; Dakota Davis, Caldwell, Kan.; Brandon Frey, Creston, Iowa; Cody Kirschbaum, Bloomington, Wis.; Bill Nance, Sheldon, Mo.; Mark Oberholtzer, Owen, Wis.; Henry Redmond, Poplarville, Miss.; Roger Robinson, Orleans, Ind.; Jeff Showalter, Broadway, Va.; Justin Steward, Wyoming, Iowa; Scott Werlein, Mondovi, Wis.; Vernon Yoder, Dundee, Ohio; and Zack Zumstein, Prairie, Idaho.

The contest will re-air January 16 on beginning at 12:00 p.m. CST.

About the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship

In June 1963, the Livestock Marketing Association held the first annual World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Denver, Colorado. The purpose: to spotlight North America’s top livestock auctioneers and to salute their traditionally important role in the competitive livestock marketing process. That year, 23 auctioneers from the United States and Canada sold the same 20 head of cattle over and over again.

The contest was held at hotels until 1967, when it traveled to its first LMA member market. Since then the WLAC has been held in conjunction with the LMA Marketing Industry Convention at member markets around the U.S. and Canada. Recent locations include California, Missouri, Montana, Tennessee, Kansas, South Dakota and Alberta, Canada.

Though the rules have changed, the enthusiasm for the competition hasn’t. On average each year, nearly 100 auctioneers enter the qualifying events and only 31 (10 from each qualifying event, one from the auctioneering competition at Calgary Stampede) are selected to compete in the WLAC. The championship consists of three stages: the regional qualifying events held at different markets around the country, followed by the semi-finals and the finals that are held each June in conjunction with the LMA Annual Convention. Contestants competing for the World Champion title must be 18 years old, employed as a livestock auctioneer and sponsored by a local auction market that shares in the favorable publicity generated by the winners.

LMA is proud to sponsor an event that brings together North America’s top livestock auctioneers in a competition that showcases professionalism and promotes the auction method of selling livestock.

About the Livestock Marketing Association

The Livestock Marketing Association, headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, is North America’s largest membership organization dedicated to supporting, representing and communicating with and for the entire livestock marketing sector. LMA has more than 800 member businesses across the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit

–Livestock Marketing Association