Warrnambool livestock agent Josh McDonald has claimed the top gong at this year's Young Auctioneers Competition in Pakenham, almost a year to the date after he polled runner-up.
The Australian Livestock and Property Agents event held today at the Victorian Livestock Exchange brought together 10 of Victoria's top young and elite auctioneers to vie for the state title ahead of the national equivalent in Sydney next year.
Mr McDonald, 22, was recognised for his clear and concise voice and eloquent delivery after selling a pen of grain-fed Charolais calves and two pens of Angus steers.
"I try and be clear with a loud voice, but not excessive, and I really try and nail my values," Mr McDonald said.
"When they announced [runner-up], I thought 'oh well, she's all over' so I was blown away when they said I'd won it."
Mr McDonald started working for Saffin Kerr Bowen Rodwells, Warnambool - a business his grandfather founded - about four years ago and entered the auction scene when he was 19.
"I started selling a few bulls and bobby calves and just progressed as time went by and continued selling a bit more ... these days I basically sell everything now," he said.
"All the older people, the older generation, have been really supportive of me which is obviously a credit for why I'm here today.
"At the end of the day, you're dealing with good people and I don't think you can meet better people than the people who are in this industry."
When quizzed about his recognition, Mr McDonald credited his loud "but not excessive" voice and his "nailing of values".
"You see some auctioneers who get up and can do their values, but you can't understand them," Mr McDonald said.
"I aim to be as clear and precise as I can be."
Auctioneers were judged on their voice, diction, price and manner.
Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association president Warren Johnston said Mr McDonald and runner-up, Tom Davies, Rodwells & Co, Wangaratta, would represent Victoria on the national stage at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in April, 2020.
"I wouldn't have liked to be a judge today. I heard them sell six or eight weeks ago at Echuca and they've all come a long way since then," Mr Johnston said.
"One of the advantages for Josh would have been that some of the nerves would have left him.
"We often find the people that have that second or third run at the competition, it certainly helps them going forward."
Mr Johnston said young people keen on entering the industry should listen to their mentors and take on the advice they had to offer.
"Let them help you improve your selling," he said.
"A lot of the technique is about repetition and looking up to other auctioneers and in some cases pinching their lines."
Twenty-year-old Wangaratta livestock agent Tom Davies, also Rodwells, was named runner-up after taking place in the competition last year, but polling lower down the order.
"There was a fair bit of talent there today and it could have gone 10 different ways I suppose so I'm very humbled," Mr Davies said.
"I kept my cool a bit more than I did last time and I sold like I would normally at an everyday sale."
The 2019 Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association’s Victorian Young Auctioneers Competition is about to get underway at the VLE at Pakenham. Ten of the state’s best auctioneers vying for the top title. #gippsnews#agchatozpic.twitter.com/PUo4eDVg6C— Bryce Eishold (@BryceEishold) September 9, 2019
Mr Davies entered the industry on a part-time basis at 16, and left school a year later to take up a role with Rodwells.
"Josh and I have worked in sale yards plenty of times so we know each other, it's great to fly the Rodwells banner," he said.
Five vendors provided about 150 head of cattle for the competition which has been running since 1990.
Each year, ALPA selects a charity where funds raised from the competition are donated.
This year the organisation chose the Royal Flying Doctor Service with more than $26,000 raised in the Victorian leg of the competition to be donated to the service.