Kansas auctioneers top World Championship
By Jennifer Carrico
Calling out bids, finding the buyer and executing the sale are all important parts of being a good auctioneer. These professionals also need to know the livestock industry and be good spokesmen for agriculture.
Thirty-one semi-finalists from across the United States and Canada vied for the title of World Champion Livestock Auctioneer during the 51st annual World Livestock Auctioneering Championship in Knoxville, Iowa, June 21.
Two Kansas auctioneers fared well by taking home the champion and reserve champion titles. Blaine Lotz, of Edna, was named World Champion and Preston Smith, of Dodge City, was named reserve champion.
Lotz is a third generation auctioneer and attended auctioneering school at Western College of Auctioneering in Billings, Montana, when he was 15. His first full-time job as a livestock auctioneer was at the young age of 17. At the age of 21, Lotz said winning the WLAC is something he has worked for his entire life.
“My favorite part of being a livestock auctioneer is working for consignors to maximize the value of their livestock and their livelihood,” Lotz said..
He will spend the coming year representing the Livestock Marketing Association and the livestock marketing industry. He will be traveling in a customized 2014 Ford F-150 pickup, which is one of the prizes for winning during the year of his reign. Other prizes included $5,000 cash, a championship sculpture, and a world champion belt buckle and ring.
Reserve champion Smith, received $2,000 cash and a reserve champion belt buckle.
Runner-up champion, Brennin Jack, of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada, received $1,000 cash and a runner-up belt buckle.
The 2014 Audrey K. Banks “Rookie of the Year” award winner was Justin Gattey, of Consort, Alberta, Canada. David Whitaker, of Ames, Iowa, was awarded the high interview score.
Other finalists included: Mitch Barthel, of Perham, Minnesota; Will Epperly, of Dunlap, Iowa; Garrett Jones, of Los Banos, California; Brandon Neely, of Southside, Alabama; Paul Ramirez, of Tucson, Arizona; Russele Sleep, of Bedford, Iowa; and Jason Santomaso, of Sterling, Colorado.
The semi-finalists were selected during three quarterfinals, which took place during the year at LMA member-markets in the U.S. The international Auctioneer Champion is always an automatic semi-finalist, and Justin Gattey qualified as the champion from the Calgary Stampede in Canada.
Jennifer Carrico can be reached by phone at 515-833-2120 or by email at email@example.com.