On Wednesday and Thursday last week, they learnt a myriad of skills from speech pathologists and experienced auctioneers.
The budding auctioneers simulated selling sheep and cattle in the sale ring and up on the rails of the yards. They also attended sessions on what makes a good agent, legal requirements (including ALPA’s terms and conditions of sale), occupation health and safety, and animal welfare.
ALPA’s southern regional manager Liz Summerville said it was a jam-packed two days and while participants learnt a lot, it was also a wonderful networking opportunity for young agents to meet others that work in the same industry but in different parts of the state.
Previous ALPA Young Auctioneers Competition national winner Nick Gray, who is now a Elders territory sales manager; Dean Coxon of Elders Kyneton, Adam Mountjoy of Rodwells Yea, and Rob Bolton of Rodwells Bendigo, shared their expertise.
Speech pathologists Eliza Galvin and Lou Philpott helped the young men learn to best use and protect their voices. Both specialists have been part of the ALPA auctioneers schools for about 14 years and more.
Ms Summerville said it was terrific for the participants and the agency where they work to see the value in sending the young men to the school. She said many had previously attended schools at Bendigo or elsewhere around the state, and it was also exciting to welcome new faces, including a school-based trainee for the first time that she knew of.
There was also a selection of finalists for the Victorian Young Auctioneers Competition, which will be held at the Victorian Livestock Exchange Pakenham on September 11. Competitors will be notified next week if they have a place in the final.
Mr Bolton said the competition between the 10 participants at Bendigo was very strong and there was not a lot of difference between the top and bottom performances of the men calling the sale of three pens of livestock each.
It was Pat McKinnon’s third school and first time entering the competition. He said the school had “massively helped” with things aspects of his selling, including voice projection, manner and stance. He Pat sells bulls at Ballarat.
It was also Zac van Wegen’s first time doing the competition, and his fourth time attending a school.
He said it was an exciting time to be a stock agent and auctioneer, with a lot of positivity in the industry thanks to good commodity prices and a widespread good season.