Young auctioneers under the hammer

Michael Robertson and Ryan Bajada from Elders Pakenham. Pictures: STEWART CHAMBERS 197385_01

By Mitchell Clarke

A group of ten young stock and station agents made Pakenham’s Victorian Livestock Exchange (VLE) their muster as they each vied for the state title.

The competition held in partnership with the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) took place on Monday 9 September in front of an excited crowd of buyers.

Each competitor was selected at an auctioneer’s school in Echuca earlier this year, where attendees were able to improve their auctioneering techniques and polish their agency industry knowledge.

Stepping up to sell three lots of cattle, each competitor was judged on their diction, values, voice and manner as well as their ability to establish their own presence and unique style.

Warrnambool agent from Rodwells & Co Joshua McDonald took out the title and will head to the Sydney Royal Easter Show next year where he’ll represent Victoria in the 2020 ALPA National Young Auctioneers Competition.

The winner of that competition will represent Australia at the International Livestock Auctioneer Championships at the Calgary Stampede in Canada.

Coming in second was Rodwells & Co Wangaratta agent Thomas Davies who will join Mr McDonald in Sydney.

Representing Elders Pakenham was 21-year-old Ryan Bajada and 25-year-old Michael Robertson.

Mr Bajada has been in the industry for three years, holding a Certificate IV in Agriculture, he sells cattle weekly and sheep monthly. He hopes the competition would allow him to continue to develop his client base and hone his skills as an agent and auctioneer.

Meanwhile, Mr Robertson has been in the industry for seven years, selling beef and dairy cattle two to three days a week. He hopes the experience will better him as an agent and auctioneer.

ALPA CEO Andy Madigan said the association was passionate about training young stock agents.

“These competitions are a way of investing in the future of our industry and promoting the integral role that stock agents play in the supply chain,” he said.

Prior to the event, 90 of the competitor’s family, friends and industry members attended the annual Young Auctioneers Competition Dinner.

Just over $26,000 was raised with ALPA donating the funds to a charity of choice, nominating the Royal Flying Doctor Service for their work in offering excellence in aeromedical and primary health care across the country.

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