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HomeAg NewsWade Leist Wins World Livestock Auctioneer Championship

Wade Leist Wins World Livestock Auctioneer Championship

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA—When Wade Leist first came back to the family’s stockyards from auctioneer school in 2004, his dad didn’t exactly turn the auctions over to him — and he says that’s a good thing. Instead, the elder Leist started his son out selling a few baby calves here and there, and spending plenty of time working in the back.

The tactic paid off, as 20 years later, Leist came out on top in the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship, hosted by Livestock Marketing Association. It was the ninth time to compete for the auctioneer who regularly sells at Mitchell Livestock Marketing, Mitchell, South Dakota, United Producers Inc., St. Louis, Michigan, and his family’s Northern Michigan Livestock, Gaylord, Michigan.

The bid-caller earned his spot in the contest by winning the Torrington, Wyoming, qualifier last fall. He and 29 other semi-finalists battled it out in Oklahoma City June 12-15, participating in an interview competition and then selling on the block at the Oklahoma National Stockyards.

As the new champion, Leist will spend the next year traveling the country, sharing his auctioneering skills with other livestock auction markets and acting as a spokesperson on behalf of the association and the livestock marketing industry. It’s something he looks forward to — and a responsibility he doesn’t take lightly.

“I can’t wait to go to work,” he said. “Both for the people who have supported me along the way, but also those who have never heard of me and are just excited to have the champion come sell.

“Auction market owners care for and work hard for their producer customers. That they would invite me to come and represent them means a tremendous amount to me.”

Dakota Davis, Waukomis, Oklahoma, was named reserve champion, and Dean Edge, Rimbey, Alberta, Canada, was runner-up. Jace Thompson, Billings, Montana, was the high score rookie and Barrett Simon, Rosalia, Kansas, had the top interview score. Rounding out the top 10 were: Justin Dodson, Welch, Oklahoma; Eric Drees, Caldwell, Idaho; Brennin Jack, Virden, Manitoba, Canada; Sixto Paiz, Portales, New Mexico; and Zach Zumstein, Marsing, Idaho.

A one-hour highlight show from the 2024 competition will air on RFD-TV July 8. The 2025 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship will be held June 4-7 in Dunlap, Iowa.

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