Ohio auctioneer wins World Livestock Auctioneer Championship qualifier

Daniel Mitchell, Cumberland, Ohio was named Champion at the 2019 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) Eastern Regional Qualifying Event. Northeast Georgia Livestock (Athens, Ga.) hosted the final of three WLAC qualifying events on December 12. A total of 24 contestants from 14 different states/provinces competed for a top 10 placing, granting them a spot in the 2019 WLAC at Tulare Sales Yard – Tulare, Calif.

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 and managers as well as allied industry members from across the United States and Canada.

“It is an honor and privilege to be named the top person of the qualifier,” Mitchell said. “This gives me the confidence boost I needed going into the Championship round.”

Mitchell has qualified for the WLAC eight times since his first competition in 2012. He moves onto the WLAC Semi-Finals where the competition is composed of two parts, an interview and live auction selling.

“The most challenging part of the WLAC event is the interview portion,” Mitchell said. “This is what I plan to work on prior to June, not only for the contest but for my day-to-day use as well. I’m a spokesman for my customers and this industry.”

Mitchell traveled nine-hours from his home state of Ohio to attend the competition hosted in Athens, Georgia. While his main reason for the voyage was to win the event, he couldn’t deny the other reason for his trip – friendship.

“Over my years of competition, I’ve gained a lot of lifelong auctioneer friends from many different states, Mitchell beamed. “Each WLAC event I attend a take something new I’ve learned, from the other auctioneers, back to our business.”

Mitchell is a second-generation auctioneer. He grew up attending farm sales and other auction events with his father, who is also an auctioneer. After graduating from auction school he entered the livestock auction business.

The Mitchell family owns Parkersburg Livestock Exchange, LLC and Jackson County Regional Livestock Market, LLC both in the state of West Virginia.

Also making a great showing were Reserve Champion Jay Romine, Mt. Washington, Ky.; Runner-Up Champion Philip Gilstrap, Pendleton, S.C.; Christopher Pinard, Swainsboro, Ga.; Wade Leist, Boyne City, Mich.; Tim Yoder, Montezuma, Ga.; Darren Carter, Ninety Six, S.C.; Jeremy Miller, Fairland, Okla.; Jacob Massey, Petersburg, Tenn.; and Jim Settle Arroyo Grande, Calif.

Other contestants who competed were Top Rookie: Russell Hergenreter, Salem, Ore.; Seth Waldrop, Westminster, S.C.; Andrew Conley, Blairsville, Ga.; Larry Nisly, Quaker City, Ohio; Mark Oberholtzer, Loyal, Wis.; Ross Parks, New Concord, Ohio; Chuck Cozzitorto, Hilmar, Calf.; Brady Ward, Villa Rica, Ga.; Albert Carroll, Downeyville, Ontario; Patrick Prather, Richmond, Ky.; Chad Wilson, Portland, Tenn.; Drake Morrow, Opp, Ala.; Billy Bruce, Fair Play, Mo.; Marshal Tingle, Nicolasville, Ky.

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.

The Livestock Marketing Association, headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, 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.

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