California, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas auctioneers qualify for World Livestock Auctioneer Championship
Dean Edge, Rimbey, Alta., was named Champion at the 2020 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) Midwestern Regional Qualifying Event. Stockmen’s Livestock, Inc., Yankton, S.D., hosted the final of three WLAC qualifying events on Wednesday, January 8. A total of 31 contestants competed for a top ten placing, granting them a spot in the 2020 WLAC Semi-Finals at Dickson Regional Livestock Center, Inc. in Dickson, Tenn.
Edge, who has competed off and on since 2002, was Reserve at the 2019 WLAC Championship and made Top 10 in 2018. He says the win gives him a boost of confidence going into the 2020 WLAC contest.
“I can now go into June knowing that I can place at the top,” Edge says. “The other qualifiers were tough, and I know the competition is high, but I believe I have a good shot of being at the top.”
Edge was introduced to livestock auctioneering through a high school instructor who would auctioneer during class time. Interested in the profession, Edge attended auctioneering school at Western College of Auctioneering in 1999 and began working as an auctioneer at the Vold, Jones & Vold Auction in Rimbey, Alta., upon graduation.
“I worked hard at it,” Edge says. “I came by it fairly easy, but I had a lot of support from friends and family who were connected to the livestock marketing industry.”
Edge says the competition allows him to further enhance his skillset and serve his community members.
“I compete because I have a competitive nature, but this competition makes me a better auctioneer and livestock marketer. I get to go home with the experience of seeing different ways to auctioneer and market livestock. I think it provides an advantage to my producers as I become more experienced.”
Although his sights are set on obtaining the 2020 title, Edge believes his most rewarding experiences as an auctioneer don’t come from a contest win.
“When a customer comes up and thanks you for working so hard for them, you feel as though you are the one getting the check. It keeps me going.”
Edge was sponsored by Vold, Jones & Vold Auction Co. LTD, Rimbey, Alta.
The contest includes a live cattle sale with actual bidders in the seats. Contestants were judged on the clarity and quality of their auction chant; auctioneer presentation; ability to catch bids and conduct the sale; and how likely the judge would be to hire the auctioneer. Judges for each qualifying event are livestock market owners, managers, dealers and/or allied industry members from across the United States.
Also making a great showing were Reserve Champion Leon Caselman, Long Lane, Mo. and Runner-Up Curtis Wetovick, Fullerton, Neb. The remaining contestants who earned a top ten finish are Troy Bradshaw, Lipan, Texas; Dakota Davis, Waukomis, Okla.; Brandon Hamel, Damar, Kan.; Justin Mebane, Bakersfield, Calif.; Daniel Mitchell, Cumberland, Ohio; Chris Pinard, Swainsboro, Ga.; and Zack Zumstein, Marsing, Idaho. The Top Rookie Award went to Mike Witten, Trenton, Mo.
Other contestants who competed are Frederick Bodnarus, Saskatoon, Sask.; Albert Carroll, Downeyville, Ont.; Collin Gibbs, Miles City, Mont.; Patrick Greenleaf, Wilmore, Kan.; Seth Harvey, Jackson, Ga.; Brett Heath, Colome, S.D.; Jacob Hills, Ridgeway, Wis.; Jake Hopwood, Valentine, Neb.; Kent Korte, Metropolis, Ill.; Ed Leist, Petoskey, Mich.; Curt Littau, Carter, S.D.; Kyle Mueller, Bloomington, Wis.; Clayton Neumann, Bigfoot, Texas; Mark Oberholtzer, Loyal, Wis.; Jim Settle, Arroyo Grande, Calif.; Jeff Showalter, Broadway, Va.; Ryan Siecke, Creighton, Neb.; Robert Strickler, Banco, Va.; Marshal Tingle, Nicolasville, Ky.; and Brad Veurink, Corsica, S.D..
About the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship
In June 1963, Livestock Marketing Association held the first annual World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC). The purpose: to spotlight North America’s top livestock auctioneers and to showcase their professionalism and important role in the competitive livestock marketing process.
The championship, held annually in conjunction with the LMA annual convention, consists of three rounds; the regional qualifying competitions, semi-finals and finals. Contestants competing for the World Champion title must be 18 years old, regularly employed as a livestock auctioneer and sponsored by at least one regularly selling livestock auction.
The World Champion serves as a spokesperson and ambassador for the livestock marketing industry during their reign through direct outreach to livestock producers, auction visits and other public appearances throughout the year.
About the Livestock Marketing Association
The Livestock Marketing Association, headquartered in Overland Park, Kan., is North America’s largest membership organization dedicated to supporting, representing and communicating with and for the entire livestock marketing sector. LMA has more than 800 member businesses across the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.LMAWeb.com