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Auctioneer Austin Thayer, Martin, SD is among those competing at the South Dakota Auctioneer's Association Bid Calling Contest at the Black Hills Stock Show.
Courtesy Photo
Auctioneer Austin Thayer, Martin, SD is among those competing at the South Dakota Auctioneer's Association Bid Calling Contest at the Black Hills Stock Show.

Auctioneers ready for Bid Calling Contest at stock show

News Staff - January 22, 2019

RAPID CITY, SD – Price discovery is integral – not only in the livestock trade – but for just about anything.  Which is why auctions remain a main stay as a mechanism to arrive at  value in ranch and farm country and beyond.  You can see it in action Sunday, Jan., 27, 2019 at the Black Hills Stock Show where every year, the South Dakota Auctioneer’s Association presents its auctioneer’s Bid Calling Contest. 

Auctioneer and contestant Austin Thayer, Martin, SD talks about the auction way.

“There’s not a lot of people my age in this part of the country who are working toward becoming an auctioneer.  But the need will always be there.  I think people come to auctions because they can really engage in the process and with other folks. “

He continued, “And for price discovery. True market value is set by what two people are willing to give on any certain day.  The only way to find that out is the auction way.”

The event that gets underway at 2:00pm in the Crystalix Bio-Barrel Showring at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, is a partnership with the Central State Fair Foundation and the South Dakota Auctioneers Association.  A portion of the proceeds goes toward the Central States Fair Foundation that works year round on raising funds for capital improvements on the fairgrounds, scholarships for area youth and support for the Western Junior Livestock Show. 

“This is a fun competition to work in.  Proceeds benefit worthy causes and give audiences a chance to see a variety of auctioneering in action.  This is about the only one where ranch work doesn’t keep me home."

A wide variety of items are available for sale in both the preliminary round and in the final round where the top five auctioneers will vie for the championship title.  Thayer, who auctioneers for Piroutek Auction, Arnenson Auction and  Philip Livestock Auction,  says there’s a mix of auctioneers who come in for the event and explains there are different skill requirements depending on what is being sold.

“The most important thing is to know your buyers. You get to know folks from selling to them. Competitions like this one at stock show are a chance to listen to other auctioneers, maybe pick up a thing or two, and it challenges a guy to be better.”

Born and raised in Bennett County, SD, Thayer, who ranches with his folks, is a graduate of Worldwide College of Auctioneering, Mason City, IA, and is in his third year competing at the Bid Calling Contest having placed in the past.  His goal to get to the World Livestock Auctioneer Championships held annually at different locations around the country. “Since I was a kid and going to sale barns and auctions with Dad and Grandpa,  I loved listening to auctioneers. I knew that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up.”

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