Livestock Marketing Association











Tennessee auctioneer wins World Livestock Auctioneer Championship qualifier

December 14, 2019

Overland Park, Kan.



Kristen Parman


Tennessee auctioneer wins World Livestock Auctioneer Championship qualifier

California, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia, auctioneers qualify for World Livestock Auctioneer Championship

Jacob Massey, Petersburg, Tenn., was named Champion at the 2020 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) Eastern Regional Qualifying Event. Farmers Livestock Exchange, Inc. in Winchester, Va., hosted the second of three WLAC qualifying events on Monday, November 18. A total of 30 contestants competed for a top ten placing, granting them a spot in the 2020 WLAC Semi-Finals at Dickson Regional Livestock Center, Inc. in Dickson, Tenn.

Massey, a three-time qualifying event champion, started selling cattle at a young age and said that he picked up his chant from being around livestock sales. Massey’s father was also an auctioneer, and Massey said, “Auctioneering came natural from being around Dad. You could say that it is in my blood.”

Massey has been competing in the WLAC qualifying events off and on since 2010. He was named the 2017 Eastern Regional Qualifying Event Champion in Dickson, Tenn. and 2018 Midwestern Regional Qualifying in Paris, Texas, as well as earned a place in the Top 10 of the WLAC finals in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. Massey said competing in the WLAC and coming back year after year has made him a better person, a better auctioneer, and that is the main reason he keeps coming back.

Massey also said if he were to win the title of World Livestock Auctioneer Champion, “It would be a dream come true and an absolute amazing experience to travel around and show people what we do day in and day out from marketing one end of cattle to the other.”

Massey was sponsored by Mid-South Livestock Center, LLC, Lebanon, Tenn.

A live cattle sale took place with actual bidders in the seats. 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, managers, dealers and/or allied industry members from across the United States.

Also making a great showing were Reserve Champion Ben Morgan, Organ Cave, W.Va.; Runner-Up Philip Gilistrap, Pendleton, S.C. and Top Rookie Alex Anderson, Abingdon, Va. The remaining contestants who earned a top ten finish are Andy Baumeister, Mullin, Texas; Colton Brantley, Modesto, Calif.; Wade Leist, Boyne City, Mich.; Jeremy Miller, Fairland, Okla.; Trey Narramore, Portales, N.M.; and Vern Yoder, Dundee, Ohio;

Other contestants who competed are Tyler Bradfield, Baker, W.Va.; Spencer Cline, Kingston, Ark.; Donnie Gadd, Waco, Ky.; Wendell Grove, Littlestown, Pa.; Kirby Hill, Paris, Texas; Justin Mebane, Bakersfield, Calif.; Terry Moe, Watford City, N.D.; Larry Nisly, Quaker City, Ohio; Chris Pinard, Swainsboro, Ga.; Joshua Puffenbarger, Mount Solon, Va.; Grant Rhodes, Singers Glen, Va.; Jay Romine, Mt. Washington, Ky.; Jim Settle, Arroyo Grande, Calif.; Jeff Showalter, Broadway, Va.; Robert Strickler, Banco, Va.; Marshal Tingle, Nicolasville, Ky.; Jason Walker, Ashland, Ala.; Wes Weeks, Saluda, S.C.; Shane Wolff, Golden Valley, N.D.; and Zack Zumstein, Marsing, Idaho.

About the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship
In June 1963, Livestock Marketing Association held the first annual World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC). The purpose: to spotlight North America’s top livestock auctioneers and to showcase their professionalism and important role in the competitive livestock marketing process.

The championship, held annually in conjunction with the LMA annual convention, consists of three rounds; the regional qualifying competitions, semi-finals and finals. Contestants competing for the World Champion title must be 18 years old, regularly employed as a livestock auctioneer and sponsored by at least one regularly selling livestock auction.

The World Champion serves as a spokesperson and ambassador for the livestock marketing industry during their reign through direct outreach to livestock producers, auction visits and other public appearances throughout the year.

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.”