Teague Harris and Nathan Smith listen to Kent Jaecke of Focus Marketing Group. Jaecke gave pointers to Harris and Smith before they went to take bids in the crowd for the first time. The steady rhythm of an auctioneer’s chant fills the barn as a subtle head nod in the crowd is followed by a ringman’s cry. Another bull has been sold and exits the ring.
For any production sale to run smoothly it takes an entire team of people. Kansas State University’s 36th annual Legacy Sale, held Friday, March 1, used students enrolled in the livestock sales management class to have its most successful sale to date.
Twenty-nine students pitched in on sale day, each playing an instrumental part in the sale’s success. From bringing cattle into the sale ring to registering buyers, students worked diligently under their professors’ supervision.
Senior in animal sciences and industry, Teague Harris, of Hepler, Kan., stepped up to take bids. During the beginning of the sale, Harris and a couple of classmates stood at the side of the ring watching seasoned ringmen before making their debut. Periodically the ringmen would step aside to give the watching students words of advice.
“I was really nervous before the sale started because it’s a high pressure situation,” Harris said. “But once we got into the sale my nerves calmed down and it was a whole lot of fun.”
Junior in animal sciences and industry, Elizabeth Forsyth, of Abilene, Kan., also felt pressure while running the registration and settlement computer program.
“I feared I would mess up the system and it would escalate into a bigger problem,” Forsyth said.
The registration and settlement table ran smoothly and Forsyth ended up enjoying the experience. She said it was a lot of fun to see how many different Kansas towns and different states were represented. Cattle sold to seven different states and Russia.
Purebred beef barn manager Ryan Breiner, animal sciences and industry teaching coordinator Dr. Dave Nichols and animal sciences and industry associate professor Dr. Dan Moser collaborate to teach the class.
“The purpose of the class is to give undergraduate students real-world, hands-on experience in livestock marketing and merchandising,” Breiner said.
Guest speakers are used to give students expertise from broad areas of the beef industry.
“We strive to select speakers that will show the scope of what it takes to run a successful program and production sale,” Breiner said. “Topics like marketing strategies, publication use, social media, catalog design, internet auctions, video and DNA technology.”