Sioux Falls Regional Livestock to host 45th annual World Livestock Auctioneer Championship
Competitive livestock marketing at its best will be on display in Worthing, SD, June 28, when the Sioux Falls (SD) Regional Livestock market hosts the 45th annual World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC).
Thirty-three of North America’s best livestock auctioneers will battle it out for the title of World Livestock Auctioneer Champion and the opportunity to represent his industry for the coming year.
The annual contest, spotlighting the auction method of selling livestock and the vital role of the auctioneer in that process, is sponsored and conducted by Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) of Kansas City, MO.
The LMA is North America’s largest membership organization dedicated to supporting, representing and communicating with/for the entire livestock marketing sector.
“All of us at Sioux Falls Regional Livestock are looking forward to hosting the Auctioneer Championship,” said Brad Klostergaard, vice president and co-owner. “This is the ‘World Series’ and ‘Super Bowl’ of the profession, and we invite everyone who enjoys the sound of a good auctioneer to be with us on June 28.”
Klostergaard pointed out the contest is an actual sale, with cattle going through the ring. “That means we will be marketing some of the area’s finest livestock, produced right here in the upper Midwest,” he said.
Sioux Falls Regional Livestock also operates two Iowa livestock markets – Sheldon Livestock in Sheldon, and Tri-State Livestock in Sioux Center.
Thirty-two of the Championship semi-finalists qualified for the Worthing event through four WLAC quarterfinal competitions conducted last fall and winter by LMA. The top eight scorers in each quarter-final move on to Worthing in June.
The 33rd contestant is the current International Auctioneer Champion. The WLAC traditionally gives a “bye” into the semi-finals to the winner of this Canadian contest.
LMA President Jim Santomaso of Sterling, CO said, “LMA members, all across the country, do much more than provide producers with competitive livestock marketing, the best way to get the best price. Marketing businesses are vital members of their communities, a gathering place for producers, and an important part of their local economy and the livestock industry.
“From the people they employ,” Santomaso said, “to the businesses they support, your local livestock market has an impact, long before and well after the sale is over. Livestock auctioneers have always been an important link in the chain that connects buyers and sellers and we’ve got 33 of the best coming to Worthing.”
The contest starts at 8 a.m. and is open to the public.
Prior to selling cattle at the Saturday contest, the 33 semi-finalists are interviewed by a panel of LMA members on industry issues and topics. This interview will count for 10 percent of the semi-finalist’s score.
Saturday morning, the semi-finalists will each sell several drafts of cattle. They are judged by a panel of market owners and professional livestock dealers on vocal clarity and quality, bid-catching ability, the ability to keep the sale moving, and by answering the question, “Would I hire this auctioneer to work for me?”
The 10 top scorers then return for a final round of selling, where the same judging criteria are used. The three titlists – world, reserve and runner-up champion – are announced at an awards banquet the evening of the 28th.
The three winners take home thousands of dollars in cash and prizes, including, for the world champion, a year’s use of a new truck.
The June 28 Championship is the exciting finish to LMA’s annual meeting, which begins June 26 at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls. The meeting offers marketing business owners, and interested producers, the chance to explore a number of key industry issues, and hear knowledgeable speakers on a variety of current topics. For registration and program information, call LMA at 800-821-2048.
The semi-finalists and their hometowns are: Bailey Ballou, Elgin, OK; Jeff Bynum, Southside, AL; Dan Clark, Winner, SD; Lance Cochran, Medford, OK; Chuck Cozzitorto, Hilmar, CA; Charly Cummings, Yates Center, KS; Shannon Davis, Yantis, TX; Eli Detweiler, Jr., Ruffin, NC; Justin Dodson, Welch, OK; Eric Duarte, Beatty, OR; Dustin Focht, Stillwater, OK; Tom Frey, Creston, IA; Mike Imbrogno, Atwater, CA; Ronald Knopp, Watertown, TN; Lynn Langvardt, Wakefield, KS; Brian Little, Wann, OK; Matt Lowery, Burwell, NE; Martin Machado, Winton, CA; Chance Martin, Red Deer, Alberta; Joel T. Martin, Williamston, SC; Andrew McDowell, Vandalia, IL; Brandon R. Neeley, Berkeley Springs, WV; Ted Odle, Brush, CO; Paul Ramirez, Tucson, AZ; Lonnie Rudd, Wilder, ID; Jason Santomaso, Sterling, CO; Kevin Schow, Paxton, NE; Rick Shoemaker, Kearney, NE; Preston Smith, Lexington, NE; Gabe Spikes, Bowie, TX; Tracy Sullivan, Prague, OK; Ty Thompson, Billings, MT; and Al Wessel, Long Prairie, MN.
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A strong windstorm blew through Garfield County, Nebraska, the afternoon of May 12, bringing damage to the rodeo grounds in Burwell, the home of Nebraska’s Big Rodeo.