St. Onge Livestock to host 2011 Greater Midwest Livestock Auctioneer Contest |

St. Onge Livestock to host 2011 Greater Midwest Livestock Auctioneer Contest

St. Onge Livestock Auction, St. Onge, SD, will host the 2011 Greater Midwest Livestock Auctioneer Championship (GMLAC) on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011. The contest site rotates between five states each year: North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin and is designed to showcase the role of the livestock auctioneer in merchandising cattle.

Justin Tupper, St. Onge Livestock Auction Cattle Yards Manager, who has competed in the GMLAC the past two years, said this is the first time St. Onge has hosted the contest. He explained that St. Onge put a bid in to host the contest, and found out the market was chosen two years ago at the GMLAC contest in Dickinson, ND.

“It’s an opportunity to showcase your market, so we jumped at the chance to get it,” Tupper said.

To host the contest, markets must have the right facilities, interest in hosting the contest and be able to meet financial responsibilities, including cash prizes for the top three auctioneers. Other responsibilities include coordinating event lodging and the awards banquet.

Since winning the bid, St. Onge has been gathering sponsorships. First place auctioneer receives a $2,500 cash prize and championship belt buckle; second receives $1,500 and a belt buckle; and third place receives $1,000 and a belt buckle. In addition, the South Dakota Auctioneer’s Association is sponsoring leather jackets for the top 10 auctioneers.

“We are still looking for sponsors to go in the booklet, but we do have some awful good sponsors already on board,” Tupper said.

Competitors must be 18 years of age at the time of the contest, and employed or sponsored by a registered livestock auction market. Entries close Jan. 10, 2011.

“I hope to have between 35-50 auctioneers,” Tupper said. Contestants are judged by a panel of five judges and compete in a preliminary round. From there, the top ten contestants advance to the final round.

For livestock consignors, St. Onge Livestock has moved their sale from Friday to Saturday, Feb. 12, to accommodate the GMLAC. “We will promote the Feb. 12 event as an excellent time to market,” Tupper said.

The GMLAC event begins Friday, Feb. 11, at 5 p.m. (MST) with a microphone check, facility orientation, contest rule briefing and drawing for selling order, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 12, the contest overview begins at 8:30 a.m., with the auctioneer championship sale beginning at 9 a.m. The awards banquet is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Deadwood Lodge, Deadwood, SD.

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