Kansas auctioneers take top two spots in annual world contest in Knoxville, Iowa.
Blaine Lotz of Edna, Kan. proved his world-class talent as a livestock auctioneer at the 51st anniversary of the Livestock Marketing Association’s (LMA) World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) in Knoxville, Iowa, on Saturday, June 21.
Lotz’s parents met while his mother was selling cattle, and his father was buying them. As a third-generation auctioneer, the world champion was quite familiar with the livestock marketing industry. When he was 15, Lotz attended auctioneering school at Western College of Auctioneering in Billings, Montana and later received his first full-time job as a livestock auctioneer at the age of 17.
Ultimately, Lotz’s favorite part of being an livestock auctioneer is working for consignors to maximize the value of their livestock, their livelihood.
Just a month shy of turning 21, Lotz notes that winning the WLAC is a huge accomplishment and something he has worked for for a lifetime. During his acceptance speech, Lotz said that he couldn’t wait to hit the road representing the LMA and livestock marketing industry.
Lotz was sponsored by South Coffeyville Stockyards, Inc., South Coffeyville, Okla.; Fredonia Livestock Auction, Fredonia, Kan.; and Tulsa Stockyards, Inc., Tulsa, Okla.
This year’s champion takes home a customized 2014 Ford F-150 pickup to use during the year of his reign; $5,000 cash; a championship sculpture; world champion Gist belt buckle and a hand-tooled leather briefcase from LMA; world champion ring sponsored by Knoxville Regional Livestock Market; the Golden Gavel Award sponsored by the World Wide College of Auctioneering; and a James Reid, Ltd. money clip sponsored by CattleUSA.com.
Also, making a great showing were the Reserve Champion, Preston Smith, Dodge City, Kan., and Runner-up Champion, Brennin Jack, Prince Albert, Sask. Smith was sponsored by Winter Livestock, Inc., Dodge City, Kan., and Pratt Livestock, Pratt, Kan. As reserve champion, Smith received $2,000 cash, a Gist knife and reserve champion Gist belt buckle from LMA.
Jack was sponsored by Heartland Livestock Services, Nilsson Brothers Inc. and Direct Livestock Marketing Systems. He will take home $1,000 cash, a Gist knife and runner-up Gist belt buckle, sponsored by LMA.
The 2014 Audrey K. Banks "Rookie of the Year" Award winner was Justin Gattey, Consort, Alberta, who was sponsored by Vold, Jones & Auction Co., Ltd., Ponoka, Alberta; Blair Vold, Ralph Vold, and Nansen Vold; and Viking Auction Market. Gattey was awarded $500 cash by LMA, in recognition of an impressive display of talent at his first WLAC competition.
David Whitaker, Ames, Iowa was awarded $1,000 cash and a hand-tooled leather padfolio from the LMA.
The seven remaining 2014 WLAC finalists: Mitch Barthel, Perham, Minnesota; Will Epperly, Dunlap, Iowa; Garrett Jones, Los Banos, Calif.; Brandon Neely, Southside, Ala.; Paul Ramirez, Tucson, Arizona; Russele Sleep, Beford, Iowa; and Jason Santomaso, Sterling, Colo.; all received Gist belt buckles from LMA.
Each of the 31 semi-finalists received a barbeque set from the LMA and vests, coolers, and knives from the host market.