Taking bids for a cause | TSLN.com

Taking bids for a cause

Fourteen competitors gathered for the first annual South Dakota Auctioneer Association (SDAA) Black Hills Bid Calling Contest on Sunday, Feb. 2, in the Crystalyx BioBarrel Sale Ring in Rushmore Hall during the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo (BHSS).

The competition showcased the skills of auctioneers from across the region as they vied for cash prizes and belt buckles in addition to raising $3,400 for the Ranchers Relief Fund. As the dust settles, the event is being called a "great fit" and "fantastic first effort" by all involved.

"I think this is a great combination between the SDAA and the BHSS, and something we will see get bigger and better every year. I've always felt auctioneering contests were important because it showcases the skillset we develop within our profession and maintains public awareness.

"Specifically, I feel this contest provides the opportunity for those auctioneers in parts of western South Dakota, eastern Wyoming and northern Nebraska that may not ordinarily enter a contest the chance to be involved in a good one," began Dan Clark of Winner, S.D., who took top honors at this year's contest.

The idea to host an auctioneering contest in conjunction with the BHSS came to Mobridge Livestock Auction co-owner and auctioneer Casey Perman following the October blizzard as a way to help his fellow cattlemen.

"We have a similarly-designed contest at the South Dakota State Fair each year. I thought this was another great place for that type of event, and that we could donate half the proceeds to the Rancher Relief effort this year. Then, in years to come that half of the proceeds can go to a different ag charity or family that is facing disaster or illness," explained Perman.

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The other half of monies earned at the event will go toward putting on the next year's contest. Sponsors, including SDAA, Mobridge Livestock, St. Onge Livestock, Kimball Livestock, Luckett Auction Services and Cane Creek Cattle also played in integral role in the successful completion of this year's event.

The help of SDAA Secretary Dawn Luckett was another key aspect of effectively planning and hosting this year's event according to Perman. Upon the BHSS committee agreeing they would try an auctioneering contest, the pair hashed out specific contest decisions, utilizing components of the South Dakota State Fair Contest to help effectively plan a successful contest in a relatively short amount of time.

"One example of that is how we obtained auction items. Each contestant was responsible for bringing four items to be auctioned. They sold three of those items in the preliminary round, and we pulled one for the final round. We also had several donated items to auction off," explained Perman.

The top five contestants advanced to the final round, including: Dan Koupal, Dace Harper, Dan Clark, Ben Meyer and Justin Biesheuvel. First place winner Dan Clark took home a $500 cash prize in addition to a belt buckle. Second and third place winners also received buckles and cash prizes, with fourth and fifth place earning gift certificates.

"The contestants were judged on the clarity of their voice, appearance, how well they kept the crowd going and their ability to catch bids. They were also rated on how well they represented the auctioneering profession," Luckett said, adding that every contestant at this year's event makes their living as an auctioneer. As a result, all scored particularly high in that area," explained Luckett.

Judges were handpicked by Perman, and included Thor Roseth, Dan Piroutek, Keith Eichler, Seth Weishaar and Ron Frame. Perman expressed pride in obtaining such a strong lineup of professionals involved in the agriculture and auctioneering industries to evaluate their peers.

"When you're a contestant you're being judged by your peers. The five judges were all involved in agriculture. One owned a livestock auction, a couple others are livestock auction auctioneers or cattle buyers. They were all people directly involved in agriculture, and for me to enter a contest and to have been fortunate enough to win with those individuals as judges really solidifies what I'm doing in as a fulltime auctioneer," added Clark.

The majority of contestants echoed his statement according to Luckett, who was also told by many that they hoped to attend and compete again next year.

"It went fantastic. We had a great crowd, especially considering that one challenge was advertising our event since we organized it after the advertising deadline for the big BHSS book had passed," she stated of the approximately 225 people who watched and bid on various items up for grabs at the event.

Clark echoed her statement, noting that only does he expect a larger crowd in years to come as word of the event gets out, but also for more auctioneers to realize the value of participating in a contest.

"I would encourage anybody, whether they are a beginner or a seasoned auctioneer, to participate in this contest. Regardless of your degree of experience, it is important to enter a contest. Not with the idea you're going to win or not win, but to take advantage of the opportunity to showcase what you do to the public while learning from the peers of your profession," stated Clark.

Going forward, Perman and Luckett are looking forward to making the contest a fixture of the BHSS, and utilizing it as an opportunity to showcase the talent of auctioneers while also helping those who need it most within the agriculture community.

"We weren't hit real hard in the blizzard, but everyone was hit enough to know the reality of it. We wanted to help," concluded Perman with a soft chuckle at what he calls his bright idea.

For more information on next year's contest, please contact SDAA Secretary Dawn Luckett at luck@venturecomm.net