SD auctioneers fare well in contest |

SD auctioneers fare well in contest

Three South Dakota men earned top honors in the Greater Midwest Auctioneer contest

Zach Ballard from Mt Vernon, South Dakota, was the champion. 2nd place: Jade Harper, Rapid City, took second and Marcus Kent from Florida.

Doug Dietterle, Meadow, South Dakota, who sells cattle at Faith Livestock and St. Onge Livestock, as well as production sales across the country, was chosen for the Tony Heinze award, which is given to an individual in the region who exemplifies livestock marketing and the auction industry. Tony Heinze, former auctioneer at West Fargo Stockyards was the first recipient and namesake of the award in 2013 and now helps choose someone each year to give it to. “It could be a market operator, auctioneer, cattle buyer, farmer, rancher, or anyone promoting the market or auction profession,” he said.

Heinze said Dietterle was a clear choice for this year’s award.

“He’s promoted South Dakota, the markets, and did a lot of work in getting the contest to Belle Fourche,” he said. Dietterle also does a lot to promote the region’s cattle and is well known throughout the area for his skills, said Heinze.

Dietterle was honored to be selected for the award. He is currently serving as the South Dakota director for the Greater Midwest Auctioneers.

“It was a good sale. It was well run, with a good crowd of buyers and good cattle,” said Dietterle.

A contest such as this helps draw a different crowd, and often the auctioneers from other regions will connect new buyers with the cattle for sale, as was the case this week, he said. “That’s one benefit of having a contest, even though it’s extra work for the auction market. They get more buyers,” he said.

The 2020 champion who helped organize this year’s event said talent was not hard to come by at the April 29, 2021 event held at Belle Fourche Livestock Market outside of Belle Fourche, South Dakota.

“We had a strong selection of professional auctioneers. They really put on a good show and they really worked hard for the consignors,” said last year’s champion, Wade Leist, who auctioneers at Mitchell Livestock Marketing, Mitchell, South Dakota.

TSLN field man Dan Piroutek assisted on the block by starting the bid on each consignment and providing background details on many of the producers, said Leist. Dietterle helped as well.

Belle Fourche Livestock owner Baxter Anders is to be credited for ensuring that Piroutek and Dietterle helped set the pace for the cattle being sold, and also that they helped make the buyers aware of information about the cattle such as genetics or a particular feeding program.

“Baxter took great care in making sure that his producers got the best opportunity to get the highest market. He was very careful about switching auctioneers between consignors, he was careful about what kind of cattle were put in front of the auctioneers. He wanted to be sure his producers were taken care of,” he said.

Leist also pointed out that the number of quality of cattle in Belle Fourche was something that the auctioneers from outside of the region were not accustomed to.

“The contestants that came from Ohio, Illinois, Florida, at one point or another, they all remarked on the exceptional quality of cattle here. I’m from Michigan. To see that many high quality cattle is really unique to guys like us that are from a different part of the country. It is really notable to us,” said Leist.

“One contestant said, I’ve seen more good cattle on the Interstate, from the airport in Rapid City to the salebarn in Belle Fourche, than I ever see at home,” Leist said.

Meadow, South Dakota auctioneer Doug Dietterle was chosen to receive the Tony Heinze award at the Greater Midwest Auctioneer Championship at Belle Fourche Livestock Auction in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, April 29, 2021. Photo by Scott Dirk

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