The 56th annual World Livestock Auctioneer Championship is slated June 7-8 at Tulare, Calif., Sales Yard in conjunction with the Livestock Marketing Association Annual Convention.
The championship features reigning champion Jared Miller of Leon, Iowa, and 31 contestants identified at three qualifying events.
Idaho residents Eric Drees of Nampa and Zack Zumstein of Marsing are among this year’s invited competitors. Slated competitors from California include Colton Brantley of Modesto, Garrett Jones of Los Banos, Justin Mebane of Bakersfield and Jim Settle of Arroyo Grande.
“It’s always exciting,” Zumstein said in an interview. He qualified in Colorado and will compete for a third straight year. “You can never go into it thinking you’ve got it in the bag, because new people are coming in. It’s an honor to compete with the best in the world.”
He works for JBS Auctions, and his family owns Treasure Valley Livestock Auction in Caldwell. The 2007 auction-school graduate also works at automotive auctions in the Boise area.
For livestock, live auctions will remain important, Zumstein said.
“Internet and video sales have kind of taken the lead on selling large numbers of feeder cattle,” he said. “But I think there’s always going to be a place for the (live-auction) sale barn as a place to sell smaller bunches of feeders, cull cows and stock cows.”
“The auctioneer championship showcases the importance of the local livestock markets and the role the auctioneer plays in true-price discovery,” LMA vice president of membership services Kristen Parman said in a news release. The association is based in Kansas City, Mo.
Competitors sell cattle to seated bidders in the live-auction portion of the contest. Judges score the auctioneers based on their presentation, chant, sale execution and how likely they would be to hire that auctioneer. Competitors also complete interviews that aim to show their knowledge of the livestock marketing industry as well as how clearly and effectively they can express it.