Camaraderie and a chance to learn livestock selling from the best drew 29 auctioneers from points across Alberta through Quebec to the Livestock Markets Association of Canada’s (LMAC) annual auctioneering championships May 13 at Brussels Livestock, Brussels, Ont.
It was standing room only for six hours straight in the house with a live feed to the adjoining tent as the auctioneers sold 2,400 head of cattle to buyers attending in person and on the DLMS and TEAM networks.
Ryan Hurlburt of Saskatoon Livestock Sales bettered his third-place finish last year by claiming the 2016 championship. Reserve champion honours went to Kirk Goldsmith, Dryland Cattle Trading Corp, Veteran, Alta.
Competition was keen and the judges went to the tie-breaking method to declare the runners-up. Third place went to Ryan Konynenbelt, Southern Alberta Livestock Exchange, Fort MacLeod, Alta. Albert Carroll, Ontario Stockyards Inc., Cookstown, Ont., earned fourth place and Tyler Slawinski, Gladstone Auction Mart, Gladstone, Man., took fifth.
Jordie Waters, Foothills Auction Inc., Stavely, Alta. was declared most-improved auctioneer by judges Bob Miller Sr. of Kamloops, B.C., Craig Jacklin of VJV Ponoka, Ross Annett of Bow Slope Shipping Assoc., Brooks, Alta.; Bob Perlich, Perlich Bros. Auction Market, Lethbridge, Alta.; Jeff McSherry, McSherry Livestock, Inwood, Man.; and 2015 champion Calvin Kuepfer, Ontario Livestock Exchange, Waterloo, Ont.
Kevin McArter of Brussels Livestock was recognized by a vote of his peers as the most congenial auctioneer and recipient of the Jim Raffan Memorial buckle.
The championships attracted eight rookies, those being auctioneers who have been selling cattle for five years or less, which bodes well for the future, says LMAC executive secretary Rick Wright of Virden, Man. This year’s top rookie was Ryan Konynenbelt.
Michael Fleury of Saskatoon Livestock Sales is this year’s inductee into LMAC’s prestigious hall of fame.
The Canadian Angus Association presented its stockyard of the year award to Cowtown Livestock Exchange, Maple Creek, Sask.
Sponsorship, both national and local, was overwhelming for LMAC’s first-ever event in western Ontario, thanks in large part to Mark and Cindy Ferraro of Brussels Livestock, who did an outstanding job as co-hosts, Wright adds.
Wright and Bryan Daynard of Strathmore, Alta., were re-elected as directors during the association’s AGM held at the nearby Oakwood Resort in Grand Bend. Serving the second year of their terms are Brock Taylor from Melita, Man., Jim Able from Stettler, Alta., and Kevin McArter from Brussels, Ont. The executive remains unchanged with Scott Anderson of Winnipeg Livestock Sales as president, Rob Bergevin of Stavely, Alta. as vice-president and Wright as executive secretary.
Anderson says LMAC’s focus for the upcoming year will again be on seeing the Cattle Implementation Plan (CIP) for traceability actually implemented as agreed upon by industry and government during the 2011 traceability summit (Canadian Cattlemen, May 2016).
He has the full backing of LMAC members who unanimously passed a resolution stating that LMAC not support regulatory change that makes it mandatory for markets, buying stations and assembly yards to scan cattle in or out.
In fact, LMAC has the full support of other industry organizations on this as acknowledged by Canadian Cattlemen’s Association director of government and international affairs John Masswohl, Canadian Cattle Identification Agency chair Mark Elford, and Canadian Livestock Dealers Association president Ross McCall, who participated in a panel discussion on traceability and the CIP following Wright’s formal presentation on this subject.
Following two May meetings with CFIA representatives Anderson and Wright were holding out hope that the impasse between the industry and the regulator may be resolved.
Both felt the government officials now have a better understanding of cattle marketing and how group movement manifests can provide all the information CFIA needs to track cattle into and out of auction markets.
“We did see more willingness to come up with a solution and these meetings were the first indication from CFIA representatives that they will take our concerns to the upper level,” says Wright.
Other convention highlights included presentations by Canfax senior analyst Brian Perillat, and technology providers Xcira and ViewTrak.
The 2017 convention slated for May 11-13 will be hosted by Perlich Bros. Auction Market in Lethbridge. It will mark the 20th year of the national LMAC auctioneering championships and the Perlich family’s 50th year in business.
A link to the 2016 auctioneering championship videos is posted on the DLMS home page.