Livestock Marketing Association











Iowa auctioneer wins 2018 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship

June 13, 2018

Kansas City, Mo.

Contact Lindsay Graber Runft


Iowa auctioneer wins 2018 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship
Special one-hour highlight show to air June 25 on RFD-TV

Jared Miller Headshot

Jared Miller of Leon, Iowa, proved his world-class talent as a livestock auctioneer at the 55th annual World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC), presented by the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA). Bloomington Livestock Exchange (BLE), Bloomington, Wisc., hosted the contest on Saturday, June 9.

In his acceptance speech, Miller said, “Wow. I said yesterday that this is a moment I’ve dreamt about. A few words come to my mind: thankful, grateful, blessed.”

Also in his acceptance speech, Miller thanked his family, sponsors, and various members of the livestock marketing industry, saying, “I heard a quote one time that if you see a turtle on top of a fencepost, he didn’t get there by himself. And I’m that turtle; I’ve had a lot of help along the way.”

This year’s champion takes home a customized 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 truck to use during the year of his reign,  $6,000 cash, world champion Gist belt buckle, and a hand-tooled leather briefcase from LMA; world champion ring sponsored by Bloomington Livestock Exchange; the Golden Gavel Award sponsored by the World Wide College of Auctioneering; and a James Reid, Ltd. money clip sponsored by

Miller was sponsored by Lamoni Livestock Auction, Inc., Lamoni, Iowa.

A special WLAC show will air on RFD-TV June 25 beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern. The 2010 World Livestock Auctioneer Champion, Kyle Shobe, will host the show.

Other Awards Received
Cody Lowderman from Macomb, Ill., earned Reserve Champion honors, and Russele Sleep from Bedford, Iowa, was named Runner-up Champion.

As Reserve Champion, Lowderman received $2,500 cash, a Gist knife and reserve champion Gist belt buckle from LMA. The Reserve Champion also won the award for High Interview score. Doing so, he received $1,000 cash and a hand-tooled leather padfolio from the LMA. Lowderman was sponsored by Carthage Livestock, Inc.

Sleep took home $1,250 cash, a Gist knife and runner-up Gist belt buckle, sponsored by LMA. He was sponsored by Clarinda Livestock Auction, Inc., Clarinda, Iowa; Fort Scott Livestock Market, Inc., Fort Scott, Kan.; Green City Livestock Marketing, LLC, Green City, Mo.; Knoxville Regional Livestock Market, Knoxville, Iowa; Southeast Kansas Stockyards, LLC, Gas, Kan.; and Russell Livestock.

In addition to Miller, Lowderman and Sleep, the 2018 WLAC finalists were Colton Brantley, Modesto, Calif.; Dean Edge, Rimbey, Alberta; Will Epperly, Dunlap, Iowa; Kyle Layman, North Platte, Neb.; Jacob Massey, Petersburg, Tenn.; Jay Romine, Mt. Washington, Ky.; Tim Yoder, Montezuma, Ga. All received Gist belt buckles from LMA.

Remaining semi-finalists who competed in the WLAC are Mitch Barthel, Perham, Minn.; Neil Bouray, Webber, Kan.; Chuck Bradley, Rockford, Ala.; Albert Carroll, Downeyville, Ontario; Leon Caselman, Long Lane, Mo.; Bill Cook, Billings, Mont.; Eric Drees, Nampa, Idaho; Brandon Frey, Creston, Iowa; Philip Gilstrap, Pendleton, S.C.; Steven M. Goedert, Dillon, Mont.; Cody Hanold, Brighton, Ill.; Jonathan Kraft, Hobart, Ind.; Wade Leist, Boyne City, Mich.; Thad McDermott, Wellfleet, Neb.; Brandon McLagan, Milan, Mo.; Daniel Mitchell, Cumberland, Ohio; Lander Nicodemus, Cheyenne, Wyo.; Jason Santomaso, Sterling, Colo.; Ethan Schuette, Washington, Kan.; Justin Steward, Wyoming, Iowa; Zack Zumstein, Prairie, Idaho.

Each of the semi-finalists received a custom garment bag from LMA, a jacket from BLE, and a “Welcome to Wisconsin” basket from BLE.

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, Dean Edge qualified as the champion from Calgary Stampede’s International Livestock Auctioneer Championship in Canada.

When not on the auction block at the livestock market he regularly sells at, or serving as co-manager at Lamoni Livestock Auction, Inc., Miller 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 2018 Interview Judges were Bob Fidler, Fairview Sale Barn Inc. and Illinois Beef Association, Fairview, Ill.; Chris Freland, Iowa Beef Industry Council, Ames, Iowa; Mark Houston, East Tennessee Livestock Center, Inc., Sweetwater, Tenn.; Clay Myers, Texhoma Livestock Auction, LLC, Texhoma, Okla.; Mike VanMaanen, Eastern Missouri Commission Company and Missouri Valley Commission Company, Inc., Bowling Green and Booneville, Mo.

The 2018 WLAC Live Auction judges were Mike Cantrell, Holdenville Livestock Market, HLM, LLC, Holdenville, Okla.; Bill Goehring, Keosauqua Sales Company, Inc., Keosauqua, Iowa; John Korrey, 2002 World Livestock Auctioneer Champion, Illiff, Colo.; Bill Patton, South Central Regional Stockyard, Inc., Vienna, Mo.; Danny Reynolds, Wythe County Livestock Exchange, Inc., Wytheville, Va.

The 2018 LMA Annual Convention and WLAC was sponsored in part by the Professional Livestock Insurance Company, Livestock Marketing Insurance Agency, Berkley Agribusiness Risk Specialists, Cattlemen’s Beef Board, and the official animal health sponsor, Boehringer Ingelheim. More information can be found at

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 in conjunction with the LMA Annual Convention at member markets around the U.S. and Canada. Locations include California, Missouri, Montana, Tennessee, Texas, 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 Overland Park, Kan., is North America’s leading, national trade association dedicated to serving its members in the open and competitive auction method of marketing livestock. Founded in 1947, LMA has more than 800 member businesses across the U.S. and Canada and remains invested in both the livestock and livestock marketing industries through member support, education programs, policy representation and communication efforts.


November 2, 2023

Florida auction market bounces back after Category 3 hurricane

As Hurricane Idalia grew closer to Florida’s Big Bend on Monday, August 28 — just two days before it would hit land — many residents were prepping for the storm. But for Alvin “Ab” Townsend and his nephew Rick Greiner, there was a different kind of preparation taking place. Tuesday is sale day at their Townsend Livestock Market, and it was business as usual, despite the uncertainty of what might come. “I started calling some of our buyers,” Greiner says. “And as long as they were going to buy cattle, we were going to have a sale.” So, sell cattle they did. They got through 400 head before they needed to shut down and head home. Early Wednesday morning, the Category 3 hurricane made landfall. Greiner couldn’t get out of his house, but Townsend — along with his wife and sister — were able to drive to the auction market that’s been in the family for four generations. At first, he thought they were at the wrong place. “It didn’t look anything like our place,” Townsend says. “Everything was just on the dirt. The building, our pens, everything was just on the dirt.” Moving On  Before Wednesday had ended, the family had called John Kissee, regional executive officer at Livestock Marketing Association. As longtime members, as well as clients of the association’s Livestock Marketing Insurance Agency, they knew they were covered.  Kissee understood Ab and Rick would want to move quickly but took time to ensure all bases were covered, insurance-wise. Kissee called back the following day, as promised. He told them the tear down and clean up could begin after taking photos to document the damage. By Monday, excavators were scraping the slab where the auction market once stood. Greiner says they had no choice but to move quickly, and they had no intention of missing more than one sale day. They started getting pens up and brainstorming how they’d hold the following week’s auction with less-than-ideal infrastructure.  To be safe, they didn’t advertise. And yet, they still got 400 head. It went well and they doubled their numbers the following week. Of course, there were challenges to selling in such makeshift facilities — like the Tuesday it rained all day and there was no barn to offer cover. But Greiner says they remained grateful through it all. “You don’t have to look very far to see somebody who’s got it worse than what we had,” he says. “We’re just lucky to be back to work and selling good cattle for our good producers.” A Helping Hand Both men are quick to credit the role Livestock Marketing Insurance Agency played in their recovery efforts. “I wouldn’t want to imagine not having Mr. John to call,” Greiner says.  Townsend agrees. “The thing with insurance,” the third-generation auction market operator says, “is you don’t need it until something happens. But then when something happens you better thank the Good Lord you had it. Because what would we have done?” Not only did Kissee and the insurance adjuster make the process a breeze, but Townsend says it never felt like a business transaction. “They’re more than just a company,” he says. “LMIA is a group of people who cares.”