CALHOUN, GA. – The Calhoun Stockyard on Oct. 15 will host 29 livestock auctioneers who all have the same goal: winning Livestock Marketing Association’s 2010 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC).

The Stockyard is hosting the third of four qualifying contests for next June’s WLAC, which will be held in Oklahoma City. At each qualifying contest, three winners will be named, and they and the next five highest-scoring contestants in each contest move on to the contest that’s been called the “World Series” and “Super Bowl” of their profession.

That means eight Calhoun contestants will have a chance to take home the top title in the 2010 WLAC, the 47th annual. The Championship was created and conducted by LMA, the national trade association for progressive marketing businesses like the Calhoun Stockyard.

Stockyard President Gene Williams said he wanted to host the contest because “We thought it would be something a little different for our area, and a good way to promote beef.”

The beef will be on hoof at the contest, which is an actual livestock sale. Williams said the sale starts about 10:30 a.m., with the contest getting underway about 2:30 p.m.

“We’re expecting about 1,000 head for the sale, mainly feeder cattle,” he said, “from some of this area’s top producers.” The market is at 2270 Rome Road, S.W.

LMA President Bobby Smith said the qualifying contests, held across the U.S., “put the spotlight on the outstanding job livestock markets, like the Calhoun Stockyard, do every day to promote and preserve the competitive livestock marketing method – the best way to get the best price for your livestock.”

These contests and the WLAC, he said, also show the continuing importance of the auctioneer in the competitive marketing method.

Contestants must be at least 18 years old, employed and sponsored by a livestock market.

Contest judges, all LMA members, score each contestant on vocal clarity and quality, bid-catching ability, conduct of the sale and personal expression. The judges also ask, “Would I hire this auctioneer?”

Williams extended an invitation to past and present customers, and those who enjoy listening to top auctioneers, to be at the market on the 15th. He said he also expects area auctioneers to attend the contest.

The Calhoun contestants, and their hometowns, are Justin Abell, Sigourney, Iowa; Mike Brown, Bethel, Ohio; Jeff Bynum, Southside, Ala.; Darren T. Carter, Ninety-Six, S.C.; Tye Casey, Plymouth, Ind.; Glenn Kruze, Knoxville, Tenn.; Shannon Davis, Yantis, Texas;

Conrad Green, Munford, Ala.; Travis A. Johnson, Oakdale, Calif.; Marvin Keck, New Tazewell, Tenn.; Marcus Kent, Dunnellon, Fla.; Ed Knight, Seymour, Tenn.; Kent Korte, Metropolis, Ill.; Kevin Magby, Atoka, Okla.;

Joel Martin, Williamston, S.C.; Jacob Massey, Petersburg, Tenn.; Jason L. Miller, Quaker City, Ohio; Brandon Neely, Southside, Ala.; Christopher Pinard, Swainsboro, Ga.; Patrick Prather, Richmond, Ky.; Tanner Ragan, Sulphur Springs, Texas;

Jay Romine, Mt. Washington, Ky.; Greg Ryken, Yankton, S.D.; Gabe Spikes, Bowie, Texas; Mark Sprewell, Carrollton, Ga.; Rusty Taylor, White City, Kan.; Eddie Wagoner, Independence, Va.; Wesley Ware, Charles Town, W.Va.; and Billy Younkin, Cecil, Ala.

The champion in each quarterfinal receives a cash award and a custom belt buckle. The reserve and runner-up champions in each quarterfinal are also awarded a custom belt buckle.

The other quarterfinal qualifying contests: Sept. 25 in Billings, Mont.; Oct. 9 in Crawford, Neb., and Dec. 2 in Parsons, Kan.

The three titlists in the June WLAC – the world champion, reserve and runner-up world champions – receive thousands of dollars in cash and prizes.

The qualifying contests, and the 2010 WLAC, will be broadcast live at www.lmaauctions.com.