Blaine Lotz of Edna, Kan. proved his world-class talent as a livestock auctioneer at the 51st anniversary of the Livestock Marketing Association’s (LMA) World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) in Knoxville, Iowa, on Saturday, June 21.
As a third-generation auctioneer, the world champion was quite familiar with the livestock marketing industry. When he was 15, Lotz attended auctioneering school at Western College of Auctioneering in Billings, Montana and later received his first full-time job as a livestock auctioneer at the age of 17.
Lotz was sponsored by South Coffeyville Stockyards, Inc., South Coffeyville, Okla.; Fredonia Livestock Auction, Fredonia, Kan.; and Tulsa Stockyards, Inc., Tulsa, Okla.
This year’s champion takes home a customized 2014 Ford F-150 pickup to use during the year of his reign; $5,000 cash; a championship sculpture; world champion Gist belt buckle and a hand-tooled leather briefcase from LMA; world champion ring sponsored by Knoxville Regional Livestock Market; the Golden Gavel Award sponsored by the World Wide College of Auctioneering; and a James Reid, Ltd. money clip sponsored by CattleUSA.com.
Also, making a great showing were the Reserve Champion, Preston Smith, Dodge City, Kan., and Runner-up Champion, Brennin Jack, Prince Albert, Sask. Smith was sponsored by Winter Livestock, Inc., Dodge City, Kan., and Pratt Livestock, Pratt, Kan. As reserve champion, Smith received $2,000 cash, a Gist knife and reserve champion Gist belt buckle from LMA.
The 2014 Audrey K. Banks “Rookie of the Year” Award winner was Justin Gattey, Consort, Alberta, who was sponsored by Vold, Jones & Auction Co., Ltd., Ponoka, Alberta; Blair Vold, Ralph Vold, and Nansen Vold; and Viking Auction Market. Gattey was awarded $500 cash by LMA, in recognition of an impressive display of talent at his first WLAC competition.
When not on the auction block at the livestock markets he regularly sells at, Lotz 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, would the judge hire this auctioneer for their own livestock market?
A special one-hour highlight show will be aired on RFD-TV June 30 at 8:00 p.m. EST.