The 10 NSW state finalists in the Young Auctioneers Competition have already proven themselves to be some of the best up-and-coming agents. KAREN BAILEY caught up with each auctioneer to find out who they are and how their preparations are going for the competition.
(1) Ryan Burden, 24, Landmark Narrandera
AS ONE of the older competitors in this year’s competition, this will be Ryan’s third attempt selling in Sydney.
He brings with him a wealth of experience to cope with the nerves of sale day, plus the background of having been in the agency industry for seven years.
Ryan said his favourite part of the job was making the transition for his clients from a product into profit for their business.
“It’s also rewarding to be working with such great people each day,” he said.
In the next decade he hoped to still be an agent in Narrandera further strengthening his client network.
In his spare time he enjoys farming, horse racing, AFL football, and entertaining friends and family.
Ryan said his dream holiday destination would be Canada.
(2) Cooper Byrnes, 20, Langlands Hanlon, Parkes
THIS is Cooper’s first year competing at the Sydney Royal Show, but that doesn’t seem to faze him.
“I’ve been preparing for the competition by recording my selling technique and then listening back to it,” he said.
“It’s a good way to check how I’m going and it helps me pick out what I need to improve on.”
Cooper has been a livestock sales auctioneer for four years and said he loved interacting with clients and working with them to get the best results for their stock.
He was first exposed to agriculture at school and quickly developed a passion for it.
“Doing some work experience as a agent was what really helped me decide I’d like to pursue a career in this industry,” he said.
“I was thrilled when I was offered a job as an agent when I finished school.”
When Cooper is not at work he enjoys water skiing. In fact, his dream holiday destination would be to the US where he’d get plenty of opportunities to get out on the water with his skis.
(3) Baden Chaffey, 22, Landmark Townsend, Scone
BADEN started his run in the young auctioneers competition early and that means this will be the third year he has competed in Sydney.
He said this year he had been getting plenty of practice at the weekly prime sales and had been paying particular attention to the fluency of his auctioneering technique.
He said the best part of being an agent was getting to know his clients better and building strong relationships.
Baden sees this as so important in building a sustainable business in his area.
As well as holding his Stock and Station Agent and Real Estate Licences, Baden also is an AuctionsPlus assessor for sheep and cattle.
When not working, Baden enjoys catching up with friends and said his dream holiday would be on a beach drinking cocktails.
(4) Scott Hall, 24, Delta Livestock and Property, Wagga Wagga
BEING one of the oldest in the competition this year, Scott is hoping his maturity will stand him in good stead for the finals.
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be livestock agent and I’m really looking forward to giving the competition in Sydney a go,” he said.
This will be Scott’s first year in the competition, although he has been working as a livestock sales agent for the past three years.
Based in Wagga, he said he loved being able to work with both sheep and cattle.
“At first I enjoyed working with the sheep and lambs more, but as time has gone on I’ve also got better at working with cattle,” he said.
He also enjoyed being involved with livestock producer’s businesses and helping them achieve the outcomes they want for their stock.
“At first it was a bit daunting selling people’s livestock as they are relying on you to get the best price for their cattle or sheep,” he said.
“Sometimes that sale can be a big chunk of their income for the whole year, so the pressure’s on to always do the best job at auctioneering you can.”
(5) Jake Lebrocque, 23, Elders Forbes
FOR the past three years Jake has been a territory sale manager and it’s the diversity of the job that he loves the most.
“We see a lot of different types of farms and people in this profession and so there’s something new or different happening each day,” he said.
Jake’s love for rural Australia started early when he was showing cattle and he developed an interest in being an auctioneer and agent.
“I love living in a rural community and getting to work with livestock every day,” he said.
This will be Jake’s first year selling in Sydney and he had been doing plenty of selling practice while driving the car.
“I’ve been working on my introductions as well to ensure I get my performance off to a solid start,” he said.
When not at work, Jake loves snow skiiing and said he would love to travel to Canada to have some fun on the snow slopes.
“They have the best snow in the world in Canada,” he said.
(6) Ben McMahon, 22, Lehman Stock and Property, Inverell
BEN is a first time competitor at the Sydney Royal Show and he’s taking the experience as it comes.
“I auction weekly at the Inverell sale, but that’s about all the preparation I’ve been doing for the competition,” he said.
He has had his eye on being an agent since he was a little kid and said the best thing about the job was the variety and all the interesting people he meets.
Ben has been an agent for three years and in the next decade he hoped to be a partner in an agency business and continue to develop his client base in the Inverell area.
He also intends on improving his auctioneering skills to be the best agent he can for his clients.
In order to offer his clients a variety of marketing options, Ben was also AuctionPlus Level 2 accredited for both sheep and cattle.
Away from work he enjoys fishing, polocrosse and socialising with good friends.
(7) Jack Pippin, 20, Spencer and Bennett, Griffith
JACK’S already notched up three years of experience as a livestock agent even though he’s one of the youngest in the competition.
It seems Jack always knew he wanted to be an agent and he said it’s the auctioneering part of the job he loves the most.
“I get a real kick out of selling people’s livestock and knowing I’ve done the best job I can to get a top price for them,” he said.
“I also love spending time with clients and understanding their business so we can get the best outcomes for them.”
In preparation for the finals, Jack had been getting in plenty of practice selling at Wagga Wagga saleyards with the team at H. Francis and Company.
He planned to continue gaining experience in the industry, doing the best for his current client base and developing his auctioneering skills.
And if you happen to jump in the car with Jack while he’s between jobs you can expect to listen to plenty of 1970s music during the trip.
(8) Tom Pollard, 19, Elders Dubbo
IT WAS love at the first auction for Tom who from as young as he can remember wanted to be a livestock agent.
“I love spending time at the saleyards and being an agent is a great lifestyle,” he said.
“Being able to help clients and seeing them get a good result is one of the really rewarding things about the job.”
Tom couldn’t wait to get started with his career and has now been a livestock agent for about three years.
He said some of the most important aspects when auctioneering was setting the values correctly and having a great rapport with the buyers on the sale rail.
“Knowing the buyer’s name and who they work for can really help keep an auction flowing,” he said.
This will be Tom’s first time selling in Sydney and most of his preparation for the competition has been attending training days (such as the Elders training camp at Deniliquin and ALPA school at Wagga Wagga) and selling as often as he can during the weekly Dubbo cattle and sheep sales.
(9) Sam Smith, 20, Kevin Miller Whitty Lennon and Company, Forbes
SAM has been in the industry for five years having started as an agent straight from school.
He sells cattle, sheep, machinery and sundry items weekly at the Central West Livestock Exchange at Forbes and the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange at Carcoar.
This will be the first time Sam has competed in Sydney, however he is getting in a much practice as he can at weekly prime cattle and sheep sales.
He said one of the best things about being an agent was achieving the goals he sets for himself and his clients.
Sam holds his Certificate of Registration and plans to remain and progress in the industry.
His interests outside of work include football and socialising with friends.
(10) Brendon White, 22, Kevin Miller Whitty Lennon and Company, Forbes
BRENDON has been a livestock agent for four years and can’t think of a better way to spend each day.
“I always knew I wanted to work in the cattle and sheep industry and this job combines all that for me,” he said.
Brendan grew up near Nyngan and was keen to have a career working in a country town.
“I enjoy the relationships you are able to develop with good clients over time and see them get great results for their livestock on sale day,” he said.
This will be Brendon’s second year competing in Sydney and he has been getting plenty of practice using the microphone in preparation for the big day.
In his spare time he enjoys fishing, lawn bowls, football and spending time with friends.
When he’s able to travel for leisure, Brendon said his ultimate destination would be exploring the top end of Australia including parts of the gulf.