St. Onge Livestock, 11693 Sale Barn Rd., St. Onge, S.D., will host the first of three qualifying events for the 2016 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC). The western regional qualifying event is October 16 beginning at 9:00 a.m. MST. A total of 22 contestants will compete for a top 10 placing, granting them a spot in the 2016 WLAC at Paris Stockyard in Paris, Ky.
The reigning World Livestock Auctioneer Champion, Brandon Neely, will attend the qualifier as event emcee. St. Onge Livestock will have a spring calf and yearling sale as part of the qualifying event auction.
Each qualifying event is a live sale where the contestants auction cattle to actual bidders in the seats. Contestants are judged on the clarity of their auction chant; vocal quality; and their ability to catch bids and conduct the sale. Judges are livestock market owners and managers from across the United States.
Contestants competing are Jared Anstine, Holden, Mo.; Zach Ballard, Creston, Iowa; Mitch Barthel, Perham, Minn.; Colton Brantley, Modesto, Calif.; Dan Clark, Winner, S.D.; Will Epperly, Dunlap, Iowa; Mike Godberson, Pawnee, Okla.; Brett Heath, Colome, S.D.; Kirby Hill, Paris, Texas; Brennin Jack, Prince Albert, Sask.; Lynden Judy, Omaha, Ark.; Cody Kirschbaum, Bloomington, Wis.; Dan Koupal, Dante, S.D.; Wade Leist, Boyne City, Mich.; Cody Moore, Winner, S.D.; Lander Nicodemus, Cheyenne, Wyo.; Jay Romine, Mt. Washington, Ky.; Duane Rus, Rock Valley, Iowa; Ethan Schuette, Washington, Kan.; Russele Sleep, Bedford, Iowa; Preston Smith, Imperial, Neb.; Shane Wolff, Golden Valley, N.D.
The public may attend the livestock auction and competition free of charge. It will also be streamed live on www.LMAAuctions.com beginning at 9:00 a.m. (MST).
About the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship
In June 1963, the Livestock Marketing Association held the first annual World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Denver, Colorado. The purpose: to spotlight North America’s top livestock auctioneers and to salute their traditionally important role in the competitive livestock marketing process. That year, 23 auctioneers from the United States and Canada sold the same 20 head of cattle over and over again.
The contest was held at hotels until 1967, when it traveled to its first LMA member market. Since then the WLAC has been held in conjunction with the LMA Marketing Industry Convention at member markets around the U.S. and Canada. Recent locations include California, Missouri, Montana, Tennessee, Kansas, South Dakota and Alberta, Canada.
Though the rules have changed, the enthusiasm for the competition hasn’t. On average each year, nearly 100 auctioneers enter the qualifying events and only 31 (10 from each qualifying event, one from the auctioneering competition at Calgary Stampede) are selected to compete in the WLAC. The championship consists of three stages: the regional qualifying events held at different markets around the country, followed by the semi-finals and the finals that are held each June in conjunction with the LMA Annual Convention. Contestants competing for the World Champion title must be 18 years old, employed as a livestock auctioneer and sponsored by a local auction market that shares in the favorable publicity generated by the winners.
LMA is proud to sponsor an event that brings together North America’s top livestock auctioneers in a competition that showcases professionalism and promotes the auction method of selling livestock.