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PRESS RELEASE

Ohio Auctioneer Awarded Top Honors at World Livestock Auctioneer Championship Qualifier

November 29, 2023

Overland Park, Kansas

Overland Park, Kansas — After a day of competitive bid-calling in Paris, Kentucky, 10 more auctioneers have advanced to the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship. The qualifiers, led by Daniel Mitchell, Cumberland, Ohio, will next compete in the semifinals, to be held at the Oklahoma National Stockyards in June.

The bid-caller from the Buckeye state said it was both exciting and humbling to win, especially with such tough competition. But even if he hadn’t come out on top, it’s still a great time.

“The competition is always exciting,” Mitchell said, adding that he understands why it’s such a popular event for spectators both in-person and online. “They say the people that have the best chant are cattle auctioneers because of the rhythmic ability and moving fast and repetition. I think it’s so popular with people because it’s a very pleasing sound to hear. The people like to hear the speed, the rhythm and try to keep up with that.”

Michael Dominique, one of the event’s judges, said it was especially fun to see the next generation of livestock auctioneers.

“I think it’s good to see the young blood that’s coming up and to see what’s going to take over in the future,” he said. “These guys are all on the cutting edge of where the industry is going and what they’re doing. And for me, that’s an exciting thing to watch.”But the contest isn’t all fun and games. It’s a unique opportunity to spotlight an integral part of the livestock industry. Reserve Champion Preston Smith, Imperial, Nebraska, said the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship events are an educational and promotional tool for businesses like his.

“We get to showcase what we can do,” Smith said. “A lot of people 20 years ago didn’t know what all livestock sale barns went through — especially the auctioneer. And it just brought us out to the front, and said, this is what we do for our customers. This is what we’re doing for our people, our buyers, our sellers.”

Neil Bouray, Webber, Kansas, was named runner-up. Completing the Top 10 and semi-finalist qualifiers for June are: Andy Baumeister, Goldthwaite, Texas; Justin Dodson, Welch, Oklahoma; Jeremy Miller, Fairland, Oklahoma; Ben Morgan, Union, West Virginia; Ross Parks, New Concord, Ohio; Ethan Schuette, Washington, Kansas; and Jeff Showalter, Broadway, Virginia. Kyle Nisly, Montezuma, Georgia, was named high score rookie.


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.



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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.”