OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (September 30, 2021) – Eric Drees of Caldwell, Idaho, was named Champion at the 2022 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) Western Region qualifying event. Producers Livestock Marketing Association, located in Salina, Utah, hosted the first of three WLAC qualifying events on Tuesday, September 28. A total of 24 contestants competed for a top ten placing, which would grant them a spot in the 2022 WLAC semifinals at Shipshewana Auction, Inc. in Shipshewana, Ind.
Drees started competing at the qualifying events in 2017, making the WLAC semifinals every year since. He was recognized as a top 10 finalist at the 2019 WLAC and received the Reserve Champion title at the 2021 WLAC in Nashville.
Drees’ family first introduced him to the livestock sector, as they fed cattle but also served as order buyers at local auctions. He says he can remember traveling with his dad to auctions, falling in love with both the lifestyle and the people involved in the business.
Drees currently serves as the auctioneer at 7 Rivers Livestock Commission LLC in Emmett, Idaho, Loma Livestock, LLC in Loma, Colo., and Montana Livestock Auction in Ramsay, Mont.
“The past couple of years, my career has just reached heights I never thought it would reach, and I just feel so fortunate to be here,” Drees said. “It means the world to me to be named the 2022 WLAC Western Qualifier Champion.”
A live cattle sale took place, with the market’s regular buyers and sellers in the seats. Auctioneer contestants were judged on the clarity and quality of their chant, presentation, ability to catch bids/conduct the sale and how likely the judge would be to hire the auctioneer. Judges for the qualifying event were livestock market owners, managers, dealers and/or allied industry members from across the nation.
Individuals advancing to the semifinals with Drees are Neil Bouray, Webber, Kan.; Brandon Frey, Diagonal, Iowa; Joshua Garcia, Goliad, Texas; Reserve Champion Steve Goedert, Dillon, Mont.; Justin Mebane, Bakersfield, Calif.; Runner-Up Champion Sixto Paiz, Portales, N.M.; High Score Rookie Jake Parnell, Sacramento, Calif.; Curtis Wetovick, Fullerton, Neb.; Tim Yoder, Montezuma, Ga.
Other contestants who competed were Colton Brantley, Modesto, Calif.; David Cox, Orderville, Utah; Duke Cox, Orderville, Utah; Dakota Davis, Waukomis, Okla.; Kirby Hill, Paris, Texas; Mark Mast, Fairfield, Mont.; Robert McDowell III, Butte, Mont.; Jack Riggs, Glenns Ferry, Idaho; Kade Rogge, Rupert, Idaho; Jim Settle, Arroyo Grande, Calif.; Daren Shumway, Lehi, Ariz.; Shawn Silverberg, Fort Collins, Colo.; Robert Strickler, Banco, Va.; Zack Zumstein, Marsing, Idaho.
About the Livestock Marketing Association
The Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), headquartered in Overland Park, Kan., is North America’s leading, national trade association dedicated to serving its members in the open and competitive auction method of marketing livestock. Founded in 1947, LMA has more than 800 member businesses across the U.S. and Canada and remains invested in both the livestock and livestock marketing industries through support, representation and communication efforts.