WINNER NAMED IN LMA AUCTIONEER CHAMPIONSHIP

Kansas City, Mo. – Andy White, Ashland, Ohio, proved his world-class talent as a livestock auctioneer at the 53rd anniversary of Livestock Marketing Association's (LMA) World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC). Paris Stockyards in Paris, Ky. hosted the contest on Saturday, June 18.

His career as an auctioneer began 15 years ago, and White regularly sells at two livestock auction markets, as well as for purebred cattle, real estate and equipment sales. This year marks the second year that White has competed in the WLAC, after winning two qualifying events and being named the Audrey K. Banks “Rookie of the Year” in 2015.

Looking toward his reign as World Champion, White is most excited to travel the United States and Canada, seeing how different markets do business, meeting livestock producers and visiting with the younger generation interested in being part of the livestock marketing business.

In his speech following the crowning, White thanked the LMA, saying, “The LMA is the most proactive organization I have ever been a part of. I look forward to growing with you and representing you.”

White was sponsored by United Producers, Inc. in Creston, Ohio and Muskingum Livestock Auction Company in Zanesville, Ohio.

This year's champion takes home a customized 2016 Dodge Ram truck to use during the year of his reign; $5,000 cash; a championship bronze sculpture; world champion Gist belt buckle and a hand-tooled leather briefcase from LMA; world champion ring sponsored by Paris Stockyards; the Golden Gavel Award sponsored by the World Wide College of Auctioneering; and a James Reid, Ltd. money clip sponsored by CattleUSA.com.

In addition, White won the award for High Interview score. Doing so, he received $1,000 cash and a hand-tooled leather padfolio from the LMA.

Other Awards Received

Also making a great showing were the Reserve Champion, Russele Sleep from Bedford, Iowa and Runner-up Champion, Jared Miller from Leon, Iowa.

As Reserve Champion, Sleep received $2,000 cash, a Gist knife and reserve champion Gist belt buckle from LMA. He was sponsored by Clarinda Livestock Auction Inc., Fort Scott Livestock Market, Inc., SEK Stockyards, LLC and Russell Livestock Market.

Miller took home $1,000 cash, a Gist knife and runner-up Gist belt buckle, sponsored by LMA. He was sponsored as a contestant by Lamoni Livestock Auction, Inc., Knoxville Regional Livestock Market and Green City Livestock Marketing, LLC.

The 2016 Audrey K. Banks “Rookie of the Year” award winner was Kyle Layman, Morland, Kansas. Layman was sponsored by Hill City Commission, LLC. He was awarded $500 cash by LMA, in recognition of an impressive display of talent at his first WLAC competition.

In addition to White, Sleep and Miller, the 2016 WLAC finalists were Justin Dodson, Welch, Okla.; Will Epperly, Dunlap, Iowa; Philip Gilstrap, Pendleton, S.C.; Brennin Jack, Prince Albert, Sask.; Jacob Massey, Petersburg, Tenn.; Jay Romine, Mt. Sterling, Ky.; and Jason Santomaso, Sterling, Colo. All received Gist belt buckles from LMA.

Remaining semi-finalists who qualified for the WLAC: Neil Bouray, Superior, Neb.; Darren Carter, Ninety Six, S.C.; Leon Caselman, Long Lane, Mo.; Brian Curless, Pittsfield, Ill.; Mike Godberson, Pawnee, Okla.; Brandon Hamel, Damar, Kan.; Michael Imbrogno, Fresno, Calif.; Garrett Jones, Los Banos, Calif.; Lynden Judy, Omaha, Ark.; Marcus Kent, Dunnellon, Fla.; Dan Koupal, Dante, S.D.; Mark Lane, Russellville, Ala.; Kyle Layman, Morland, Kan.; Blake McDaniel, Tallassee, Ala.; Justin Mebane, Bakersfield, Calif.; Daniel Mitchell, Cumberland, Ohio; Lander Nicodemus, Cheyenne, Wyo.; Duane Rus, Rock Valley, Iowa; Kevin Schow, Paxton, Neb.; Ethan Schuette, Washington, Kan.; and Preston Smith, Imperial, Neb. Each of the semi-finalists received a WLAC luggage tag and dopp kit from the LMA and a basket of Kentucky Proud items from the host market.

WLAC Qualification and Scoring

Thirty of the semi-finalists were selected during three regional qualifying events that took place at LMA member-markets in the U.S. As the International Auctioneer Champion is always given a “bye” to become an automatic semi-finalist, Marcus Kent qualified as the champion from the Calgary Stampede in Canada.

When not on the auction block at the livestock market he regularly sells at, White will spend his year traveling the country sharing his auctioneering skills with other livestock auction markets, and acting as a spokesperson for the industry. Therefore, each semi-finalist had an opportunity to establish their knowledge of the livestock marketing business, and their ability to express that knowledge with clarity, in a judged interview session on Friday of the championship.

The auctioneering phase of the contest is conducted during an actual sale, with live bidders in the seats. Contestants were 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 the auctioneer for their own livestock market.

Following the semi-finals, ten finalists were selected to return to the auction ring for the final round where they sold additional drafts of cattle, and were judged again, based on the same criteria.

The 2016 Live Auction Judges were Wayne Geistweidt, Gillespie Livestock Company, Fredericksburg, Texas; Joe Don Pogue, Sulphur Springs Livestock Auction, Sulphur Springs, Texas; Bobby Smith, Fairview Sale Barn, Fairview, Okla.; Becky Thompson, Director, Kentucky Beef Network, Kentucky Cattlemen's Association; and Alan Watts, News and Farm Director, WKDZ-WHVO Radio.

The 2016 WLAC Live Auction judges were Lyle Allen, Lewistown Livestock Auction, Lewistown, Mont.;Brian Glick, Belleville Livestock Market, Inc., Belleville, Penn.; Rick Greiner, Townsend Livestock Market, Madison, Fla.; Dan Otte, Sheridan Livestock Auction Company, Rushville, Neb.; andKelly Thigpen, Pearsall Livestock Auction, Pearsall, Texas.

The 2016 LMA Annual Convention and WLAC was sponsored in part by the Meadowbrook Star Insurance Group, Cattlemen's Beef Board, Berkley Agribusiness Risk Specialists and the official animal health sponsor, Merial. More information can be found at www.LMAweb.com.

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 conducted 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 and 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 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, fixed-facility auction market that conducts at least one sale per week.

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 (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 more than 800 member businesses across the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.lmaweb.com.







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