By AMANDA LOVIZA
Glasgow Daily Times
Farmers Livestock Market of Glasgow hosted an overflow crowd Monday as people from across the country flocked to the stockyard for the first quarterfinal round of the 2012 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship.
It was the first time Farmers Livestock and its owners, the Loy family, had hosted a large competition, and in the weeks leading up to the quarterfinal, President Darrell Loy said it would be an exciting time for the local stockyard.
“We’ve never had an opportunity to hold a contest of this caliber, and we are looking forward to it,” Loy said.
While the Loys may have lacked experience running a big competition, Jim Carter, regional executive officer of the Livestock Marketing Association, said afterward that the competition went phenomenally well.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had any run smoother,” Carter said. “It was a real class act. The momentum and the flow couldn’t have been any better.”
The auctioneering competition was built into the stockyard’s usual Monday cattle sale, so it started about 2 p.m. Each of the 24 contestants sold 2500-3500 head of cattle from all classes of quality. The competition lasted until about 5:30 p.m., with winners announced at 6 p.m. Brandon Neely, of Southside, Ala., claimed the champion title of Monday’s quarterfinal, but seven more also scored high enough that they will be traveling to Turlock, Calif., next June.
Loy called himself “fortunate to have the opportunity to host” the quarterfinal.
“In this world, it’s a big deal,” he said.
Loy has been around auctioneering since he was a child, he said, and it is very competitive. He judged an auctioneering competition in Canada, and it was because of that experience that he was asked to host the first round of the world championship. Having the opportunity to host the competition was not only an honor for him and the stockyard, but a good opportunity for the community of Glasgow, he said.
“The recognition, the publicity it’ll bring not only to the stockyard itself, but it’s (valuable to) the community,” Loy said.
Despite the rain, people turned up from all over to pack the Farmers Livestock facility to the brim, with many standing against the walls or sitting on the stairs. The Loys set up a tent outside with two big screen TVs for those who could not fit into the building, and some visitors sat in the tent to watch the proceedings.
The employees of Farmers Livestock were very accommodating and hardworking, Carter said, and to have an overflow crowd on a day with inclement weather was impressive.
“I can’t say enough about the crew and the employees,” Carter said. “It was just a real great show.”
The Loys and their employees at Farmers Livestock proved they are more than capable of hosting any competition of any caliber, Carter said.
“These people can do anything they want to,” he said.
For Darrell Loy, hosting the quarterfinal was a way to give back to local farmers, to bring recognition to them and their cattle.
“(It’s) a token of appreciation to give back to our farmers in this area,” Loy said.
Along with Neely, those moving on to the championship are: Darren Carter, of Ninety Six, S.C.; Brian Little, of Wann, Okla.; Tom Frey, of Creston, Iowa; Will Epperly, of Moneta, Va.; Paul Ramirez, of Tucson, Ariz.; Jay Romine, of Mt. Washington, Ky.; and Blake McDaniel, of Tuscumbia, Ala.