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The Art of Livestock Auctioning

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Mountain Cowgirl

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What style of cattle auctioneer do you prefer? The seemingly slower with a more rhythmic chant or the seemingly faster with trills? They both seem to get the highest bid in the least amount of time, but I am a fan of the slower more rhythmical style.

The way I learned at age 12 was the slow methodical rhythm that was easy to understand. I was taught to never repeat a confirmed bid and use basically two words (besides the numbers) bid and now. Practicing selling by the head at $25 increments I would say, "Bid seven hundred fifty, now seven five seven five, seventy five, seven hundred five, (hand raise from bidder then) bid seven hundred seventy-five, seven seven five, now seven seventy-five, (hand raised) bid eight hundred, eight oh oh, eight, now eight, (hand raised) bid eight hundred fifty, eight five eight five, now eight fifty, etc.

I used to practice on the drive home while my dad sang loudly to drown me out. My mother went to one auction with us and never again. At our local auction, while we were unloading and I was doing my chant just for fun, the auctioneer came out and invited me to take the mic for one sale and he would do the handwork as his regular bidders each had their own signals. He said do my hands as he did his. I think my father must have asked him to do this in hopes of shutting me up. I was an incessant and fast talker and grew up hearing about how if tools could be hooked to my jaw, the job could be done in the blink of an eye, hahaha! The minute I hit the chair I was as nervous as a cat passing cherry pits. He said just follow me and he starts and I fall into the rhythm and then he drops out. I did OK, but I was never one to be in front of a crowd.

The only auctions I attempted after that were small auctions for 4H and FFA.

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