GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) – Good auctioneers have to be able to work the crowd, pitch the products, and of course, talk as fast as lightning. Some of the best in the business gathered Tuesday in Greeley hoping to qualify for the annual world Livestock Auctioneer Championships.
It was Brian Weitzel’s big moment in front of the livestock buyers and the judges.READ MORE: Colorado Polio Survivor Reflects On Life-Long Disease & COVID Vaccines Now
“Just got to take a deep breath,” Weitzel said.
Relax and go.
At the Greeley Auctioneering Quarterfinals competitors were selling cattle, and selling themselves to the judges, hoping to move on for a shot at a world title in livestock auctioneering.
“My main thing is the speed. I go a little bit faster than most,” said Travis Holck, an auctioneer from Minnesota.
Clearly speed is important, but the five judges also listen for clarity. As bidding continues the auctioneers are also judged on how well they notice the sometimes very subtle signals from buyers and how well they close each sale.
“Somebody will mess up a bit, or miss a bid. Most people wouldn’t catch it, but the judges will,” said Robb Taylor, an auctioneer from Oklahoma.READ MORE: Denver Cops, Sheriff's Deputies Lagging on Vaccinations; 'There Is A Lot Of Pushback" Says Deputy Safety Director
“Knowing your product, knowing the value of what you’re selling, that comes first. Your sound and your chant comes second,” said Michael Imbrogno, an auctioneer from California.
Auctioneers from 11 states and one from Canada calmed their nerves before what they say is an amazing rush at breakneck speed.
“It’s the biggest best feeling in the world. It’s hard to explain. It’s like you’re Superman flying off this roof and not crashing,” said Jeff Bynum, an auctioneer from Alabama.
Adding to the competition excitement is the cattle are going for record-high prices — 35 percent higher than this time last year because of drought and increased demand for beef in the U.S. and abroad.
“It’s a rush, it’s fun. It’s about like driving a race car. Especially in a hot market like we got nowadays,” Weitzel said.
Ultimately it’s all about quickly getting the most money for each animal.MORE NEWS: Colorado AG Report Finds Pattern Of Racially Biased Policing In Aurora
The Top 8 finishers moved on to the World Livestock Auctioneer Championships in California in June.