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Four Nebraskans to compete for livestock auctioneers' world championship Tell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo/Image
An auctioneer at work

Kevin Schow of Paxton, Rick Shoemaker of Kearney, Preston Smith of Lexington and Matt Lowery of Burwell will represent Nebraska in the 45th annual World Livestock Auctioneer Championship in June.

Competitive livestock marketing will be on display June 28 at the contest at the Sioux Falls Regional Livestock market in Worthing S.D. The contest starts at 8 a.m. and is open to the public.

Thirty-three of North America’s best livestock auctioneers will battle it out for the title and the opportunity to represent the industry for the coming year.

The annual contest, spotlighting auction sales and the vital role of the auctioneer in that process, is sponsored and conducted by Livestock Marketing Association of Kansas City.

“This is the ‘World Series’ and ‘Super Bowl’ of the profession, said Brad Klostergaard, vice president and co-owner of the Souix Falls market.

Klostergaard said the contest is an actual sale, with cattle through the ring.

“That means we will be marketing some of the area’s finest livestock, produced right here in the upper Midwest.”

Thirty-two of the championship contenders worked their way through regional contests to the finals, There were four quarter-final competitions last fall and winter. The top eight scorers in each quarter-final move on to Worthing in June.

The 33rd contestant is the reigning International Auctioneer Champion from Canada. The WLAC traditionally gives a “bye” into the semi-finals to the winner of the Canadian contest.

Auctions are the best way to set a fair price, through on the spot negotiations between buyers and sellers, conducted with the rhythmic chant of the auctioneer, the LMA says.

“LMA members, all across the country, do much more than provide producers with competitive livestock marketing -- the best way to get the best price. Marketing businesses are vital members of their communities, a gathering place for producers, and an important part of their local economy and the livestock industry,” said LMA President Jim Santomaso of Sterling, Colo.

Prior to selling cattle at the Saturday contest, the 33 semi-finalists are interviewed by a panel of LMA members on industry issues and topics. The interview counts for 10 percent of the semi-finalist’s score.

On Saturday morning, the semi-finalists each sell several drafts of cattle. They are judged by a panel of market owners and professional livestock dealers on vocal clarity and quality, bid-catching ability, the ability to keep the sale moving, and by answering the question, “Would I hire this auctioneer to work for me?”

The 10 top scorers return for a final round, where the same judging criteria are used. The three titlists – world, reserve and runner-up champion -- are announced at an awards banquet the evening of June 28. Those three take home thousands of dollars in cash and prizes, including, for the world champion, a year’s use of a new truck.

The June 28 Championship is the finish to LMA’s annual meeting, which begins June 26 at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls.

The meeting offers marketing business owners, and interested producers the chance to explore a number of industry issues, and hear knowledgeable speakers on a variety of current topics.

For registration and program information, call LMA at 800-821-2048.

The semi-finalists and their hometowns are: Bailey Ballou, Elgin, Okla.; Jeff Bynum, Southside, Ala., Dan Clark, Winner, S.D.; Lance Cochran, Medford, Okla.; Chuck Cozzitorto, Hilmar, Calif.; Charly Cummings, Yates Center, Kan..; Shannon Davis, Yantis, Texas; Eli Detweiler, Jr., Ruffin, N.C.;

Justin Dodson, Welch, Okla.; Eric Duarte, Beatty, Ore.; Dustin Focht, Stillwater, Okla.; Tom Frey, Creston, Iowa; Mike Imbrogno, Atwater, Calif.; Ronald Knopp, Watertown, Tenn.; Lynn Langvardt, Wakefield, Kan.; Brian Little, Wann, Okla.;

Matt Lowery, Burwell, Neb.; Martin Machado, Winton, Calif.; Chance Martin, Red Deer, Alberta; Joel T. Martin, Williamston, S.C.; Andrew McDowell, Vandalia, Ill.; Brandon R. Neeley, Berkeley Springs, W.Va.; Ted Odle, Brush, Colo.; Paul Ramirez, Tucson, Ariz.;

Lonnie Rudd, Wilder, Idaho; Jason Santomaso, Sterling, Colo.; Kevin Schow, Paxton, Neb.; Rick Shoemaker, Kearney, Neb.; Preston Smith, Lexington, Neb.; Gabe Spikes, Bowie, Texas; Tracy Sullivan, Prague, Okla.; Ty Thompson, Billings, Mont., and Al Wessel, Long Prairie, Minn.

The LMA is North America’s largest membership organization dedicated to supporting, representing and communicating with/for the entire livestock marketing sector.

The Sioux Falls Regional Livestock also operates two Iowa livestock markets, Sheldon Livestock in Sheldon, and Tri-State Livestock, Sioux Center.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 5/2/2008
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