Montgomery Stockyards to host 50th anniversary World Livestock Auctioneer Championship June 14-15

31 auctioneers to sell cattle at stockyards; contest will be broadcast live on RFD-TV June 15

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (May 28, 2013) – Montgomery Stockyards, 4500 Mobile Highway in Montgomery, Ala., will host the 2013 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) on June 14-15. This year marks the 50th anniversary of this prestigious event that showcases the industry’s most talented livestock auctioneers and progressive auction markets.

The WLAC is sponsored by the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), the leading trade association serving livestock auction markets, during its annual convention as a way to promote the profession and the auction method of marketing livestock. This year’s World Livestock Auctioneer Championship features 31 semi-finalists who qualified at three regional contests held earlier across the country.

Montgomery Stockyards is one of the largest auction markets in the eastern United States, according to Jerry Etheredge, general manager of Montgomery Stockyards. He says it’s a tremendous honor for the market to host the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship this year on its 50th anniversary.

“Our market and the entire city of Montgomery are thrilled to be hosting the LMA annual convention and World Livestock Auctioneer Championship where the best livestock auctioneers in the industry will be competing for the world title,” says Etheredge.

“We invite everyone to stop by to see the contest at Montgomery Stockyards on Saturday, June 15, or watch it live on RFD-TV, and learn more about this important aspect of the livestock industry,” he adds. “Bailey Ballou, the reigning world champion, and many past world champion auctioneers will be attending and selling cattle here as well.”

For the first time, RFD-TV will broadcast the semi-final and final rounds of the live auctioneering contest starting at 8 a.m., Central, Saturday, June 15, from Montgomery Stockyards. The event is open to the public free of charge.

For the world championship title, the 31 auctioneers will compete in live interview and auctioneering contests. Because of this important, high-profile role, each WLAC semi-finalist must establish their knowledge of the livestock marketing business, and demonstrate their ability to express that knowledge with clarity, in a live interview competition held on Friday, June 14, at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel where the convention is held. The interview competition can be viewed live on LMAAuctions starting at 2 p.m. Central.

The Saturday, June 15, auctioneering competition at Montgomery Stockyards is a live sale where the contestants auction cattle to actual bidders in the seats. Contestants are judged on the clarity of their auction chant; vocal quality; their ability to catch bids and conduct the sale; and finally, if the judge would hire this auctioneer for their own livestock market. Judges are livestock market owners and managers, and many have competed in this competition.

Following the contests, the titles of World Livestock Auctioneer Champion, reserve champion (2nd place), and runner-up (3rd place) will be presented at the awards ceremony on Saturday night. The champion will take home $5,000 in cash, a custom diamond ring, trophy and other prizes, as well as the use of a brand new pickup for the year. The reserve and runner-up champions will take home $2,000 and $1,000, respectively. The WLAC awards ceremony can be watched live at LMAAuctions.

Follow LMA on Facebook (Facebook.com/auctionLMA) and Twitter (@sellatauction) for additional event information. The official hashtag of the 2013 WLAC is #WLAC50.

About the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship:
In June 1963, 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. 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 Meeting. 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:
Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), 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 approximately 800 member businesses across the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit lmaweb. Follow LMA on Facebook (Facebook.com/auctionLMA) and Twitter (@sellatauction).