World champion auctioneer brings talents to area auction

Auctioning more than talking fast

PASSAIC, Missouri - It's not every day a world champion visits small town Missouri. The reigning world livestock auctioneer champion stopped by the MO-KAN Livestock market as part of his year-long tour of the country. Kyle Shobe won the title last June. He brought his style to an auction just outside Butler, Missouri Thursday afternoon.

The 28-year-old from Lewiston, Montana even stepped up to the microphone and sold some cattle.

"This is true price discovery," said Shobe. "A cow walks through the ring and we don't really know her value until the gavel falls."

And the gavel fell a lot on Thursday. Close to 1,600 head of cattle was sold, at first by co-owner Jim Hertzog and then by Shobe himself. He credits a little luck in winning the world championship in only his second year trying.

"Winning the world championship is like winning the Super bowl," said Jim Hertzog.

Hertzog is making his own attempt in winning the super bowl of livestock auctioning. He was named one of ten finalists in 2009 and has made the finals again this summer. Both auctioneers say that it takes more than the ability to talk fast that makes a great livestock auctioneer.

"It's based on numbers but everything in between are filler words to keep a rhythm," said Shobe. "And kind of create an excitement and an urgency to bid."

When asked if Shobe gave him any tips for the upcoming championship Hertzog said laughing, "No, I can't tell you that information. No, he didn't give me any tips."

Laughing aside, Shobe believes it's just a matter of time before Hertzog wears the belt buckle of a champion.

"One of these days Jim will be wearing that buckle and driving that truck," says Shobe, "I got no doubt about it."

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