Joe Allen's win in last year's Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association Victorian Young Auctioneer competition was a further step forward in his career in the agency industry.
The Elders territory sales manager's win in September 2018 came after placing second in 2017 and saw him travel to the Sydney Royal Easter Show for the national competition.
Mr Allen proved his abilities on a bigger scale, taking home the runner-up ribbon at the national event.
He was just beaten by Queensland agent, Anthony O'Dwyer, GDL Dalby, who claimed the top prize.
Mr Allen had been selling for two years prior to his Victorian win, operating at the weekly prime cattle markets and sheep and lamb markets at Shepparton.
He also sells for Elders at the monthly store cattle sales at the Euroa and Yea selling centres.
Mr Allen said the competition was a great way of networking with people taking part in the competition as well as people from the wider industry.
"You meet good people from across the industry," he said.
"You probably learn more at the courses and in the competition than you realise at the time."
He said there were "only positives" to come to young auctioneers who entered the competition.
"The training courses run by ALPA are great ways to develop and learn new skills," he said.
"You don't have to enter the competition, just head along to the training sessions and you learn."
He said the training and competition helped make him a better agent overall.
He said the competition helped develop his confidence in marketing clients' livestock.
He said the opportunity to sell at weekly sales was a real benefit when developing his skills as an auctioneer and in the competition.
He said his mentor had been the respected Shepparton agent Tony Pianto, who died recently.
"I think Tony had a big involvement in past young auctioneers who won this competition," he said.
"I owe a lot to Tony and I wouldn't have been as successful as I was in the competition without him.
"Tony was a branch manager and livestock manager at Shepparton and he always encouraged me to sell at every opportunity."
Mr Allen said auctioneers all had their own styles.
"I think that without trying to, or knowing, you take on little phrases and actions from your mentors," he said.
"If you hear or see something that you like you add them to your own routine," he said.
Mr Allen said there were different demands on the auctioneer whether selling at prime sales or store sales.
"The big difference in the competition is selling in a ring rather than on the rail," he said.
"Ring selling you are stationary so you have to develop other strategies during the sale.
"It's an opportunity to get outside your comfort zone."
Mr Allen said auctioneering was a "great leveler".
"You have to have some humility when you're selling," he said.
Mr Allen said the auctioneer set the tone for the market.
"Tony could change how a sale was going mid-sale," he said.
"When you thought the sale was a bit dull he could just change that up by the way he sold and with his energy."
Mr Allen said he also took the opportunity to sell at other sales including special sales.
"I've sold a few pens down the back of the calf sales at Omeo," he said.
"Morgan Davies [from Elders] sells at Omeo and he is a big mentor of mine and involved in the training sessions as well."
As the runner up in the national competition, Mr Allen will travel to Christchurch, New Zealand, in November this year, to take part in the New Zealand Agricultural Show.
Mr Allen said it was a great opportunity to travel and promote auctioneering and the industry.
"It's not a competition but it's a good promotion for the industry," he said.