ELDERS stud stock auctioneer Lincoln McKinlay has made quick work of the agency game.
In less than a decade he has risen to the top ranks and claimed Australian champion and international rookie champion auctioneer titles. His work has taken him to the Magic Millions sale on the Gold Coast and as far afield as the US and Canada.
The Queensland import, now based in Inverell, today services a broad cross-sect of central and southern NSW clients.
"I can tell you now that I'm a Queenslander through and through but I just love that Young, Cowra and Canowindra area," Lincoln told The Land.
"Especially coming into spring when the canola is in full bloom, I just adore that part of the world."
In 2021 Lincoln was a member of the team led by Paul Jameson which won the Elders' coveted Alexander Lang Memorial National Team of the Year Award.
By far the best part of my job is the people I get to work with.
"Brian Kennedy and Paul Jameson have worked together for a little longer but our team is still relatively fresh," he said.
"We're a great team and we've really come together in the last two to four years."
He counts fine wool Merino breeders, Thoroughbred, Wagyu and top-end Angus cattle producers among his clients.
"We are dealing with some absolutely interesting, fantastic people," Lincoln said.
It started in 2012 with the chance to work with Cyril Close at TopX in Roma, Qld.
"I couldn't ask for a better start because Cyril kept me in Roma for a while but he also sent me to Longreach, Richmond and Rockhampton."
There Lincoln was inspired by the stoic western graziers.
"I was up there in the heart of the drought from 2014 to 2016 and 2017," he said.
Even though graziers were on their knees, they'd sold a lot of their stock and couldn't do anymore, they stuck with it.
"They kept going and it was just unreal."
One day Lincoln was called to the rail at Roma.
"I must have been six or eight months into the job," he said.
"It was the last couple of pens at a fat sale on a Thursday and Cyril said 'Righto, your turn'.
"He threw me on to a couple of old bulls and it went from there. He was a great coach."
And auctioneering is a craft that he has since made his own.
Before taking out the ALPA National Young Auctioneers Competition in 2017 and Calgary Stampede's International Livestock Auctioneer Championship Rookie of the Year, he had studied the work of Australian auctioneers and attended the World Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa, US.
He called that trip the "most amazing experience" of his life.
"I went there not really to learn about how they sell, but to learn how to present yourself, how to speak and how to introduce the different items correctly," he said.
"It was the most amazing experience of my life.
"I got to spend time with world champion auctioneers, go back to their ranches and spend a little bit of time with them and their family.
"I came back the next year and won Sydney and then went on to win at Calgary. It wasn't everything but it definitely helped."
And it was auctioneering which led him in the stud game. After returning from the US Lincoln worked at the Magic Millions sale on the Gold Coast and with Ray White GTSM stud stock manager Michael Glasser at Albury.
"I've been super lucky in starting with TopX and GTSM," Lincoln said.
"And spending that little bit of time in America I've been exposed to quite a bit in the small time that I've been in the industry. I truly value that.
"I love my job, it's my life. And I think that that goes a long way."
And as to his advice for young auctioneers? You can never stop learning.
"If I could give any advice to anyone it's to travel and see the world," he said.
"Be open minded and have a crack; find that person that you look up to and approach them.
"Get in front of these people and ask questions because we do work in a fabulous industry and most are willing to help."
As he prepares for the 2022 New England ram selling season, Lincoln thinks agriculture is filled with "optimism and opportunity."
"We are still in a massive rebuilding phase," he said.
"The amount of stock we have been selling hasn't gone up dramatically but it's the price that has put us in front.
"We are in for another good 12 months. After that, who knows? Let's enjoy it.
"Hopefully we see a lot of young people come back with a real lifetime's opportunity to make some money.
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