Miles City market hosting first auctioneer quarterfinal competition
The road to LMA’s 2009 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) begins in Miles City, MT, Sept. 9, for 32 contestants.
Miles City Livestock Commission, LLP, is hosting the first 2009 WLAC quarterfinal competition. Three titlists will be named at each contest, and the top eight scorers will qualify for next June’s WLAC, to be held at Fergus Falls Livestock Auction Market, Inc. in Fergus Falls, MN.
The other WLAC quarterfinals will be Oct. 29 at Texhoma Livestock Auction, LLC, Texhoma, OK; Nov. 18 at Muskingum Livestock Auction Co., Zanesville, OH; and Dec. 2 at Kingsville Livestock Auction, Kingsville, MO.
LMA, the national trade association for livestock marketing businesses, created and conducts the annual WLAC. The championship in Minnesota will be the 46th annual.
Miles City Livestock Commission co-owner Rob Fraser said, “September ninth will be a special day for all of us at the market. We’ll be welcoming some of America’s best livestock auctioneers, who will be selling top-quality cattle from some of the best producers in this area.”
He expects about 4,000 head of cattle, mostly yearlings, for the sale.
And, he said he wanted to invite “anyone who enjoys listening to the sound of a good auctioneer, to join us on the ninth.” The sale will start at 9 a.m. (MT), with the contest getting underway at 10 a.m.
This is the third year LMA has used the four-contest format to qualify contestants for the June Championship.
It was begun, said LMA President Bobby Smith, “to allow more auctioneers to enter the contest, and also to highlight the outstanding job markets all over the country do to promote a competitive livestock economy.”
The quarterfinal format has succeeded in attracting more contestants each year, Smith noted – 93 in 2006, and 118 last year.
The annual WLAC, he continued, brings two things into focus: that competitive livestock marketing is “the best way to get the best price for your livestock,” and the “continuing importance” of the auctioneer in that process.
Contestants must be at least 18 years old and employed and sponsored by a livestock market. Each contest is an actual sale, with buyers on the seats.
The Miles City master of ceremonies will be Matt Lowery of Burwell, NE, the reigning world champion. He won the title June 28 in Worthing, SD.
Contest judges are market owners/operators and professional livestock dealers. Contestants are judged on vocal clarity and quality, talent at keeping the sale moving and bid-catching ability. The judges also ask the question, “Would I hire this auctioneer?”
The Miles City contestants, followed by their hometowns, are:
Jaxon Allen, Lewistown, MT; Mitch Barthel, Perham, MN; Ted Baum, O’Neill, NE; Paul G. Bitz, Napoleon, ND; Pius Bitz, Bismarck, ND; Dan Clark, Winner, SD; Bill Cook, Huntley, MT; Tom Frey, Creston, IA;
Shawn Gist, Westerose, Alberta; Steven M. Goedert, Ronan, MT; Bryan Hanson, Fort Pierre, SD; Mike Herman, Bismarck, ND; Ed Hinton, Scobey, MT; Ross Hunter, Ardmore, SD; Garrett Jones, Los Banos, CA; Kelly Klein, LaMoure, ND;
Chance Martin, Red Deer, Alberta; Mike Nuss, Minatare, NE; Paul Ramirez, Tucson, AZ; Lonnie Rudd, Wilder, ID; Duane Rus, Rock Valley, IA; Jake Sanford, Port Orchard, WA; Jason Santomaso, Sterling, CO; Michael L. Schmitt, Torrington, WY;
Larry Schnell, Dickinson, ND; Kevin Schow, Paxton, NE; Kyle J. Shobe, Lewistown, MT; Daren Shumway, Mesa, AZ; Ty Thompson, Billings, MT; Rich Venzor, Three Forks, MT; Brian Weitzel, Brush, CO; and Al Wessel, Long Prairie, MN.
The champion in each WLAC quarterfinal will receive a cash award and a custom-made belt buckle. The reserve and runner-up champion in each of these contests will also receive custom belt buckles.
The three titlists in the June WLAC – world champion, reserve and runner-up world champion – will receive thousands of dollars in cash and prizes.