KANSAS CITY — Daniel Mitchell, of Cumberland, Ohio, was named champion at the 2019 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) Eastern Regional Qualifying Event.
Northeast Georgia Livestock hosted the final of three WLAC qualifying events Dec. 12. A total of 24 contestants from 14 different states/provinces competed for a top 10 placing, granting them a spot in the 2019 WLAC at Tulare Sales Yard in Tulare, California.
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 as well as allied industry members from across the U.S. and Canada.
“It is an honor and privilege to be named the top person of the qualifier,” Mitchell said. “This gives me the confidence boost I needed going into the Championship round.”
Mitchell has qualified for the WLAC eight times since his first competition in 2012. He moves onto the WLAC Semi-Finals where the competition is composed of two parts, an interview and live auction selling.
“The most challenging part of the WLAC event is the interview portion,” Mitchell said. “This is what I plan to work on prior to June, not only for the contest but for my day-to-day use as well. I’m a spokesman for my customers and this industry.”
Mitchell traveled nine hours from his home in Ohio to attend the competition hosted in Athens, Georgia. While his main reason for the voyage was to win the event, he couldn’t deny the other reason for his trip: friendship.
“Over my years of competition, I’ve gained a lot of lifelong auctioneer friends from many different states. Each WLAC event I attend a take something new I’ve learned, from the other auctioneers, back to our business.”
Mitchell is a second-generation auctioneer. He grew up attending farm sales and other auction events with his father, who is also an auctioneer. After graduating from auction school he entered the livestock auction business.
The Mitchell family owns Parkersburg Livestock Exchange, and the Jackson County Regional Livestock Market, both in the state of West Virginia.
About the contest
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 U.S. 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.
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