The Fence Post’s people recognition for July 17 | TheFencePost.com
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The Fence Post’s people recognition for July 17

CFB welcomes new staff

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Colorado Farm Bureau welcomes two new additions to the organization's core team.

Zach Riley and Taylor Lobato will support the organization's public policy goals as directors of federal affairs and policy communications, respectively. Riley brings a deep knowledge and understanding of agriculture issues and a wealth of good relationships with policymakers. After graduating from Wayland Baptist University with a degree in business and political science, Riley gained congressional experience lobbying for a technical-trade and business association as well as during his tenure with U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce from New Mexico's Second District. Prior to joining CFB, Riley served as the director of governmental affairs for New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau. Riley was raised in southeastern New Mexico, where his family is deeply steeped in agriculture. He can't be more excited to join CFB and will make a wonderful compliment to the Colorado agriculture-lobby. Hailing from a cattle ranch in the San Luis Valley, Lobato's family has been in Colorado since the mid-1700s. It was here she found her passion for agriculture and rural issues. After her family's involvement in an education funding lawsuit, Lobato decided to pursue a degree in public policy and strategic communications at the University of Denver so she could better advocate for rural communities across Colorado. Before coming to CFB, Lobato honed her communications skills at a local communications agency that focused on public issues. She is excited to join CFB where she can help tell the story of Colorado's agriculture community. CFB is excited to welcome these two new additions to the staff. With their help, we can continue to ensure the success of farming, ranching and our shared rural heritage in the state of Colorado.

Illinois auctioneer wins 2017 WLAC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Brian Curless of Pittsfield, Ill., proved his world-class talent as a livestock auctioneer at the 54th annual World Livestock Auctioneer Championship, presented by the Livestock Marketing Association. Public Auction Yards, Billings, Mont., hosted the contest on June 17. Curless was raised in the livestock marketing industry, but did not originally have any interest in becoming an auctioneer. During his mid-20s, Curless recognized the need for livestock auctioneers as the population of current auctioneers was aging. He attended auction school and from there, had "put WLAC Champions on a pedestal." The newly crowned champion noted Jack Lowderman and Bob Evans as personal mentors, while recognizing other auctioneers like Stanley Stout and the 1987 WLAC Champion, Jeff Stokes, as "heroes" in the livestock auctioneering world.

In 2012, Curless competed in a WLAC Qualifying Event for the first time. Six years of competing later, he won the title and is now looking forward to a year of representing the LMA and livestock marketing industry. Curless reminds other auctioneers perseverance is key to pursue the WLAC Championship and to not get discouraged. Curless was sponsored by Fairview Sale Barn, Fairview, Ill.; F&T Livestock, Palmyra, Mo.; and Kirksville Livestock, LLC. Cody Lowderman from Macomb, Ill., earned reserve champion honors, and Will Epperly from Dunlap, Iowa, was named runner-up champion. The reserve champion and Rookie of the Year also won the award for high Interview score. Lowderman was sponsored by Carthage Livestock, Inc. Epperly was sponsored by Dunlap Livestock Auction, Dunlap, Iowa; West Point Livestock Auction, Inc., West Point, Neb., and S&B Cattle Company, Lexington, Ky. In addition to Curless, Lowderman and Epperly, the 2017 WLAC finalists were Colton Brantley, Clovis, Calif.; Mike Godberson, Pawnee, Okla.; Brennin Jack, Prince Albert, Sask.; Jacob Massey, Petersburg, Tenn.; Justin Mebane, Bakersfield, Calif.; Jared Miller, Leon, Iowa; and Russele Sleep, Bedford, Iowa. Remaining semi-finalists were Mitch Barthel, Perham, Minn.; Neil Bouray, Webber, Kan.; Ab Carroll, Downeyville, Ontario; Leon Casselman, Long Lane, Mo.; Lance Cochran, Medford, Okla.; Eric Drees, Nampa, Idaho; Phillip Gilstrap, Pendleton, S.C.; Brandon Hamel, Damar, Kan.; Garrett Jones, Los Banos, Calif.; Dan Koupal, Dante, S.D.; Corey Lawrence, Thorsby, Alberta.; Wade Leist, Boyne City, Mich.; Blake McDaniel, Tallassee, Ala.; Brandon McLagan, Unionville, Mo.; Daniel Mitchell, Cumberland, Ohio; Lander Nicodemus, Cheyenne, Wyo.; Jay Romine, Mt. Washington, Ky.; Curtis Wetovick, Fullerton, Neb.; Tim Yoder, Montezuma, Ga.; Billy Younkin, Cecil, Ala.; and Zack Zumstein, Prairie, Idaho. More information can be found at http://www.LMAweb.com. ❖