HE’S still one of the young guns in the agency game, and Roma’s Lincoln McKinlay is soaking up what he can from more experienced people in the industry, with a goal to keep improving.
The 23-year-old won the national Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association Young Auctioneers Competition in 2017, and went on to be named the 2017 International Livestock Auctioneer Championship Rookie of the Year at the Calgary Stampede last July.
Mr McKinlay, who started working for TopX straight after finishing school in 2011, said he’d always wanted to be an agent and compete in the competition.
“I’ve always had a big interest in stud cattle, stock horses and race horses, and I’d shown cattle for other people,” he said.
“And I’d always wanted to be an auctioneer from a young age. So as soon as I was old enough to compete I went to one of the ALPA schools in Queensland and competed the following year.”
He’d had a couple of years’ practice selling twice a week through the Roma yards, and was runner-up in the Queensland auctioneers competition in 2016, which was his ticket to competing in Sydney.
In the time between coming second to Landmark Roma’s Jake Smith in the state competition and taking on the best from around the country at last year’s Sydney Royal Easter Show – where Mr Smith was runner-up – Mr McKinlay worked on his craft.
“I probably changed the way I sold from one competition to the next,” Mr McKinlay said.
“I really worked on my introductions and preamble of the stock. Selling twice a week at the store and fat sale is a big help and it seems to be a big advantage for agents from Roma that go in the competition.”
That included studying the work of other Australian auctioneers and attending the World Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa, in the United States.
“I think that was very helpful in going into the competition in Calgary because I had an understanding of how they sold.
“The biggest difference is asking for the next bid - they say the bid they want, rather than the bid they’ve got. They also have their differnet rerminology, but it's pretty easy to get used to.
“That time over there also helped me build a group of friends, like Matt Lowry, who’s a former world champion auctioneer and he’s a great mentor.”
He’s still with TopX, and counts owner Cyril Close as one of his influences, along with Michael Glasser and Chris Norris.
“Cyril and everyone at TopX has been so supportive, and they’ve allowed me the time to work with those guys to improve my skills,” Mr McKinlay said.
“Chris Norris has contracted me to the Magic Millions sale and for the past four years I’ve been a bid spotter, but after winning in Sydney they gave me a bit of time behind the microphone and hopefully now I'll be part of the auctioneer team at their sales.
“I love dealing with good people and good livestock, whether it’s for a stud sale or a paddock sale.”