Livestock Marketing Association











Kansas auctioneer wins World Livestock Auctioneer Championship Midwestern Qualifier

November 12, 2021

Overland Park, Kansas

Andrew Sylvester of Wamego, Kan. was named Champion at the 2022 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) Midwestern Region qualifying event. Cherokee Sales Co., located in Cherokee, Okla., hosted the second of three WLAC qualifying events on Wednesday, October 10. A total of 30 contestants competed for a top ten placing, which would grant them a spot in the 2022 WLAC semifinals at Shipshewana Auction, Inc. In Shipshewana, Ind.

"It's truly humbling," Sylvester said. "I honestly wasn't expecting this. My goal was to come here and not embarrass my family, my livestock market or myself. I just tried my best to come in genuine, and get up there and do my job."

Andrew Silvester receiving prize for winning

This was Sylvester's first appearance in a WLAC qualifying event, where he also walked away with the title of High Score Rookie.

"Am I a rookie?" Sylvester said. "Yes - I've never been to the contest before, but I've been selling cattle for a few years an I've been involved in the industry during that time."

Sylvester originally Started auctioneering with the interest of selling purebred cattle, but realized he was more interested in all facets of the livestock and livestock marketing industries. He currently serves as the auctioneer for Manhattan Commission Company in Manhattan, Kan. and Crossroads Real Estate & Auction.

A live cattle sale took place, with the market's regular buyers and sellers in the seats. Auctioneer contestants were judged on the clarity and quality of their chant, presentation ability to catch bids/conduct the sale and how likely the judge would be to hire the auctioneer. Judges for the qualifying event were livestock market owners, mangers, dealers and/or allied industry members from across the nation.

A live cattle sale took place, with the market’s regular buyers and sellers in the seats. Auctioneer contestants were judged on the clarity and quality of their chant, presentation, ability to catch bids/conduct the sale and how likely the judge would be to hire the auctioneer. Judges for the qualifying event were livestock market owners, managers, dealers and/or allied industry members from across the nation. 

Individuals advancing to the semifinals with Sylvester are Zach Ballard, Presho, S.D.; Reserve Champion Justin Dodson, Welch, Okla.; Runner-Up Will Epperly, Dunlap, Iowa; Brandon Hamel, Natoma, Kan.; Lynn Langvardt, Chapman, Kan.; Kyle Layman, North Platte, Neb.; Chris Pinard, Swainsboro, Ga.; Barrett Simon, Rosalia, Kan.; Dustin Smith, Jay, Okla. 

A row of contestants from the event

Other contestants who competed were Leon Caselman, Long Lane, Mo.; Spencer Cline, Kingston, Ark.; Keelan Dunn, Bowie, Texas; Quest Flesner, Hannibal, Mo.; Jacob Hills, Ridgeway, Wis.; Calvin Hollis, Mannford, Okla.; Michael Imbrogno, Turlock, Calif.; John Kisner, Hays, Kan.; Josh Larson, Haxtun, Colo.; Lane Marbach, Victoria, Texas; Tilon Mast, Auburn, Neb.; Clayton Neumann, Ringwood, Okla.; Lander Nicodemus, Cheyenne, Wyo.; Ross Parks, New Concord, Ohio; Kade Rogge, Rupert, Idaho; Ethan Schuette, Washington, Kan.; Jeff Showalter, Broadway, Va.; Lonnie Stripe, Humeston, Iowa; Andrew Sylvester, Wamego, Kan.; Scott Twardowski, Swanville, Minn.; Corbitt Wall, Canyon, Texas.

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.”