Young auctioneers have competed at the Sydney Royal Easter Show for years but a new incentive from Wagga stock and station agents has, for the first time, brought the skills of auctioneering to an even younger audience with a new high school aged competition.
A mix of maths, agriculture, speech and drama plus some good Aussie humour is all rolled into one when livestock agents take the art of auctioneering to the classroom. The Riverina Anglican College (TRAC) agriculture teacher, Trevor Dawson said the skills held by auctioneers would be beneficial to the students.
"They will learn confidence building, how to handle themselves in a crowd, and how to think and count at the same time," he said.
Mr Dawson said the students may not choose to become auctioneers as a career but the skills were valuable.
This enthusiasm has been mirrored by others in the region too. Mr Dawson said he put the call out to schools a few months ago to see if more students would be interested in an auctioneers competition.
As a result, five schools, plus TRAC have opted in. This means livestock agents from Wagga are regularly visiting the classrooms to help prepare students.
"All of the schools involved have aligned themselves with an agent and the agent is tutoring the kids in the skills they need to know from linguistics to speech right through to the actual process (of selling)," Mr Dawson said.
Elders auctioneer, Joe Wilks is heading up the auctioneering classes at Wagga Christian College. He'd already seen the students overcome the fear of speaking in front of people.
"Initially they were a bit afraid to get up and have a go but once we walked them through the steps and told them not to try and get it all right the first time around, they had a go," Mr Wilks said.
"They started by auctioneering some Chupa Chups (lollipops) and they're now showing a lot of potential."
The competition will culminate in a final at the Ganmain Show on August 24.
"It will be the best of the best having a go at the show and we encourage everyone to come out and show their support," Mr Wilks said.
Some of the criteria from the young auctioneers competition, fostered by the Australian Livestock and Property Agents, will be used in the Wagga schools competition.
Mr Wilks said the workshops also taught students more about the supply chain.
"Students are interested in where livestock goes after leaving the property," he said.
TRAC year 7 student, Lachie Garnock, 13, said he was looking forward to the sessions so he could learn important lessons for the future.