Lindsay Graber Runft
Jacob Massey named Champion at 2017 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship Eastern Regional
Daniel Mitchell was Reserve Champion and Wade Leist, Runner-Up Champion
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jacob Massey, Petersburg, Tenn., was named Champion at the 2017 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) Eastern Regional Qualifying Event. Dickson Regional Livestock Center, Dickson, Tenn., hosted the second of three WLAC qualifying events. A total of 33 contestants competed for a top 10 placing, granting them a spot in the 2017 WLAC at Public Auction Yards in Billings, Mont.
Massey was sponsored by Mid-South Livestock Center, LLC, Lebanon, Tenn.; Tennessee Livestock Producers, Fayetteville, Tenn.; and Tennessee Livestock Producers, Columbia, Tenn.
As a child, Massey and his brothers started buying and selling cattle of their own. Massey said that he always liked the auction part of the business, and decided to follow in his father’s footsteps to become an auctioneer. The young auctioneer started chanting early, sold some cows for the first time while still in high school and then pursued an auctioneer license immediately after high school graduation.
Currently, Massey sells at three livestock auction markets each week. After encouragement from livestock market owner/operators, Massey began competing in the WLAC. He’s competed in the WLAC qualifying events off and on since 2010 and earned his best placing (a top 10 finalist) at the WLAC in 2016.
Being named Champion at the 2017 WLAC Eastern Regional was “unbelievable, a shock” to the auctioneer, noting that it was a “pure blessing” to win a qualifier for the first time while competing in his home state of Tennessee. Massey said that his goal is to improve his chant each year and is looking forward to seeing friends, networking in the industry and getting another shot at the world title during next summer’s WLAC.
Also making a great showing were Reserve Champion, Daniel Mitchell of Cumberland, Ohio and Runner-up Champion, Wade Leist of Boyne City, Mich. The following contestants also qualified for the 2017 WLAC: Leon Casselman, Long Lane, Mo.; Brian Curless, Pittsfield, Ill.; Phillip Gilstrap, Pendleton, S.C.; Brandon McLagan, Unionville, Mo.; Jay Romine, Mt. Washington, Ky.; Tim Yoder, Montezuma, Ga.; and Billy Younkin, Cecil, Ala. The Top Rookie was Brandon McLagen.
A live cattle sale took place with actual bidders in the seats. Contestants were judged on the clarity of their auction chant; vocal quality; ability to catch bids and conduct the sale; and if the judge would hire the auctioneer. Judges for each qualifying event are livestock market owners and managers from across the United States. The Eastern Regional was judged by David Coleman, Southside Livestock Market, Blackstone, Va.; Shane Kaczor, Bassett Livestock Auction, Inc., Bassett, Nebraska; John Rodgers – Visalia Stockman’s Market, Inc., Visalia, Calif.; Brian Uptmore, West Auction, LLC, West, Texas; and Dan Williams, 1982 World Livestock Auctioneer Champion, Boone, N.C.
Other contestants who competed are Jake Billington, Twin Falls, Idaho; Chuck Bradley, Rockford, Ala.; Darren Carter, Ninety Six, S.C.; Dustin Cotter, Caulfield, Mo.; Brent Croom, Dyer, Tenn.; Shannon Davis, Winnsboro, Texas; David Hawk, Somerset, Ky.; Kirby Hill, Paris, Texas; Travis Holck, Monroe, Wis.; Mark Lane, Russellville, Ala.; Leon Martin, Ionia, Iowa; Jeremiah Melson, Savannah, Tenn.; Ben Morgan, Ronceverte, W.V.; Jeremy Odum, Lumberton, Miss.; Alex Popplewell, Russell Springs, Ky.; Joshua Puffenbarger, Staunton, Va.; Duane Rus, Rock Valley, Iowa; Ethan Schuette, Washington, Kan.; Dustin Smith, Jay, Okla.; Seth Waldroup, Westminster, S.C.; Chad Wilson, Portland, Tenn.; Shane Wolff, Golden Valley, N.D.; Vernon Yoder, Dundee, Ohio.
The contest will re-air Saturday, October 22 on www.LMAauctions.com beginning at 12:00 p.m. CDST.
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.