Dustin Focht of Stillwater, Okla.,won the livestock auctioneer championship at the 50th anniversary of the Livestock Marketing Association’s World Livestock Auctioneer Championship in Montgomery, Ala.
—Livestock Marketing Association
Dustin Focht of Stillwater, Okla., proved his world-class talent as a livestock auctioneer at the 50th anniversary of the Livestock Marketing Association’s (LMA) World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) held in Montgomery, Ala., on Saturday, June 15.
A late comer to the livestock auctioneering profession, Focht, 43, whose grandfather was a livestock auctioneer, didn’t begin selling until 13 years ago. He credits fellow Oklahoma auctioneers Ralph Wade and Greg Griffith with helping to form him into the world champion auctioneer he is today.
"I had never sold anything or had a chant before I met Ralph. He took a complete beginner and in two days taught me the basics and put me in the block at Oklahoma National Stockyards," Focht explains. "Greg taught me all the values that exemplify an auctioneer: professionalism, integrity, honesty and value."
Focht says patience, preparation and the experience of 11 previous WLAC contests gave him the confidence and ability to win this year’s contest. Focht, who also won for high score in the interview contest, says during the contest he worked on relaxing, being professional and doing the best auctioneering job he could with the tough competition he faced.
In his acceptance speech, Focht thanked the Livestock Marketing Association and its staff for the dedicated support they provide the livestock auction markets across the country. "I know I have big shoes to fill, but I can’t wait to travel across the country visiting markets and talking about all the good things the organization and auction markets do for the industry."
Focht was sponsored by Cherokee Sales Co., LLC, Cherokee, Okla.; Woodward Livestock Auction, Inc., Woodward, Okla.; and Anthony Livestock Sales Co., Anthony, Kan.
This year’s champion takes home a customized 2013 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 Montgomery Stockyards; 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 Brian Little, Wann, Okla., and Runner-up Champion Blaine Lotz, Edna, Kan. Little was sponsored by Coffeyville, Livestock Market, LLC, Coffeyville, Kan. As reserve champion, Little received $2,000 cash, a Gist knife and reserve champion Gist belt buckle from LMA.
Lotz was sponsored by South Coffeyville Stockyards, Inc., South Coffeyville, Okla.; Fredonia Livestock Auction, Fredonia, Kan.; and Tulsa Stockyards, Inc., Tulsa, Okla. He will take home $1,000 cash, a Gist knife and runner-up Gist belt buckle, sponsored by LMA.
The 2013 Audrey K. Banks "Rookie of the Year" Award winner was Mike Godberson, Pawnee, Okla., who was sponsored by Ouachita Livestock Market, LLC, Ola, Ark., and Cattleman’s Livestock Auction, Harrison, Ark. Godberson was awarded $500 cash by LMA, in recognition of an impressive display of talent at his first WLAC competition.
he seven remaining 2013 WLAC finalists: Tye Casey, Plymouth, Ind.; Brennin Jack, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan; Daniel Mitchell, Cumberland, Ohio; Brandon Neely, Southside, Ala.; Jason Santomaso, Sterling, Colo.; Russele Sleep, Beford, Iowa; and Preston Smith, Imperial, Nebr. All finalists received Gist belt buckles from LMA.
Each of the 31 semi-finalists received garment bags from LMA and commemorative 50th anniversary soft coolers from the host market.