FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Iowa auctioneer wins World Livestock Auctioneer Championship qualifier
Iowa, Alberta, Ohio, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Alabama and Nebraska auctioneers qualify for World Livestock Auctioneer Championship
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (October 2, 2018) – Russele Sleep, Bedford, Iowa, was named Champion at the 2019 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) Midwestern Regional Qualifying Event. Holdenville Livestock Market in Holdenville, Oklahoma hosted the first of three WLAC qualifying events on Monday, October 1. A total of 32 contestants competed for a top 10 placing, granting them a spot in the 2019 WLAC at Tulare Sales Yard in Tulare, California.
Sleep says it was a great honor to be named the champion amongst 31 other top-notch auctioneers at the Midwest Qualifier. Having competed in WLAC qualifying events since 2009, Sleep is no rookie to the contest. He’s qualified for the WLAC seven consecutive years, and notes his goal is to take home the WLAC title in 2019.
“As champion I’d enjoy the opportunity to tour different markets across the country and make ranchers more aware of the benefits of true price discovery by selling their product through competitive bidding.”
In 2004, Sleep attended auctioneer school at Missouri Auction School and following, took his first auctioneering job selling weigh cows and bulls at the Maryville, Mo., location for United Producers, Inc. His career has progressed from there, and Sleep now sells five weekly livestock auctions.
Sleep was sponsored by Clarinda Livestock Auction Inc., Clarinda, Iowa; Fort Scott Livestock Market, Inc., Fort Scott, Kan.; SEK Stockyards, LLC, Gas, Kan.; Russell Livestock Market and Green City Livestock Marketing.
Also making a great showing were Reserve Champion Dean Edge, Rimbey, Alberta, Runner-Up Vernon Yoder, Dundee, Ohio and Top Rookie Josh Garcia, Goliad, Texas. The remaining contestants who earned a top ten finish are Jim Hertzog, Butler, Mo., Will Epperly, Dunlap, Iowa, Dustin Smith, Jay, Okla., Neil Bouray, Webber, Kan., Chuck Bradley, Rockford, Ala., Curis Wetovick, Fulerton, Neb., Dakota Davis, Caldwell, Kan.
A live cattle sale took place with actual bidders in the seats. 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 from across the United States.
Other contestants who competed are Bill Nance, Sheldon, MO., Sterlyn Paiz, Portalies, N.M., Lander Nicodemus, Cheyenne, Wyo., Marshal Tingle, Nicholasville, Ky., Jeremy Miller, Fairland, Okla., Wade Leist, Boyne City, Mich., Zach Ballard, Grant City, MO., Joshua Garcia, Goliad, Texas., Trey Narramore, Grants, N.M., Kirby Hill, Paris, Texas, Jim Settle, Arroyo Grande, Calif., Jase Hubert, Emporia, Kan., Andrew Finlay, Carbondale, Kan., Andy Baumeister, Mullin, Texas, Troy Bradshaw, Lipan, Texas, Tanner Jessup, Hillsboro, Kan., Chas Tillman, Swink, Okla., Kade Rogge, Rupert, Idaho, Mark Oberholtzer, Loyal, Wis., Terry Moe, Watford City, N.D., Jake Hopwood, Valentine, Neb., Ethan Schuette, Washington, Kan.
About the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship
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.
About the Livestock Marketing Association
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.