Matt Lowery is LMA’s 2008 World Livestock Auctioneer Champion
Worthing, S.D. – Matt Lowery, who said he “grew up loving the cattle business, and playing auctioneer,” won Livestock Marketing Association’s 45th annual World Livestock Auctioneer Championship, held on June 28th at the Sioux Falls Regional Livestock market.
The reserve world champion is Ted Odle of Brush, Colo., and the runner-up world champion is Ty Thompson, Billings, Mont.
Lowery, 32 of Burwell, Neb., has been in the contest nine times. He’s won the reserve title twice and been runner-up champion once.
He told the awards banquet audience that, “Words can’t describe” what it mean to be named world champion … it’s like being a kid at Christmas.”
In a later interview, he said winning the top title is “fulfilling a boyhood dream,” adding, “It’s an honor and a challenge to be selected to represent the livestock marketing industry.” As champion, he will travel around the country, making appearances at markets and other events.
Odle said he was “thrilled” to win the reserve, or second place, title. An auctioneer since the age of 16, Odle, 45, said he’s been in the contest “at least ten times.”
This marked the 11th time in the contest for Thompson, 35. He’s been one of the ten finalists seven times, and finished second twice, including last year.
Thompson said it’s “more than likely” he’ll be back to compete again, adding, “I always enjoy coming and learning something new.”
The remaining seven finalists, who emerged from a field of 33 contestants, were in alphabetical order, Lance Cochran of Medford, Okla.; Charly Cummings of Yates Center, Kan.; Justin Dodson of Welch, Okla.; Ton Frey of Creston, Iowa; Brian Little of Wann, Okla.; Paul Ramirez of Tucson, Ariz., and Rick Shoemaker of Kearney, Neb.
Cummings was presented the Audrey K. Banks “Rookie of the Year” award. As the highest-scoring first-time entrant to make the semi-finals.
The Championship is an actual sale, with buyers on the seats. The semi-finalists are judged on vocal clarity and quality, talent at keeping the sale moving and bid-catching ability.
The judges, a group of market owner/operators and professional livestock dealers, also ask the question, “Would I hire this auctioneer?” A portion of the contestants’ score is also determined from a pre-contest interview, where they’re judged on their ability to act as a spokesman for the livestock marketing sector.
The 33 semi-finalists are narrowed to 10 finalists. They return to the auction block and sell several more drafts of cattle, where they’re again judged on the above criteria.
This was the second year LMA used four quarter-final competitions to qualify contestants for the WLAC. The eight top-scoring contestants in each competition move on to the June contest. As has become a WLAC tradition, a “bye” into the semi-finals is given to the International Auctioneer Champion.