Kansas auctioneer takes the title; Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Tennessee auctioneers qualify for world contest

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - January 3, 2014 - Blaine Lotz of Edna, Kan., proved his talent as a livestock auctioneer at the third and final qualifying event for the Livestock Marketing Association's (LMA) World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC). The qualifying event took place at Mo-Kan Livestock Market, Butler, Mo., on Thursday, January 2.

Lotz, a relatively new member to the livestock auctioneering profession, went to auctioneering school in 2009. He followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, a real estate auctioneer, and his mother, a livestock auctioneer. Lotz's first year to compete in a WLAC qualifying event was 2012, and he attended the WLAC that year and in 2013.

Competitive by nature, Lotz said that winning the WLAC this summer is a huge goal he strives to achieve, and the first step was to make the top 10 at a qualifying event. To Lotz, it means "more than anything" to be crowned Champion.

Also making a great showing were the Reserve Champion, Preston Smith, Dodge City, Kan., and Runner-up Champion, Russele Sleep, Bedford, IA.

The remaining finalists who earned a spot at the 2014 WLAC are Mitch Barthel, Perham, Minn.; Jacob Massey, Petersburg, Tenn.; Blake McDaniel, Tallassee, Ala.; Jay Romine, Mt. Washington, Ky.; Duane Rus, Rock Valley, Iowa; Jason Santomaso, Sterling, Colo.; David Whitaker, Ames, Iowa. The contest is during an actual sale with live bidders in the seats. Contestants were judged on the clarity of their auction chant; vocal quality; their ability to catch bids and conduct the sale; and finally, if the judge hire this auctioneer for their own livestock market.

Each year, there are three qualifying events. The first qualifier was at Tulare County Stockyards, Dinuba, Calif., and the second qualifier was at Blue Grass South Stockyard, Stanford, Ky. Ten finalists are selected at each qualifying event; those finalists and an international champion from Canada compete at the WLAC. The 2014 WLAC will be in Knoxville, Iowa, at Knoxville Regional Livestock Market on June 21, in conjunction with the LMA Annual Convention in Des Moines, Iowa.

The WLAC highlights the auctioneer's crucial role in the competitive marketing of livestock. LMA hosts the contest each year to promote the auction method of selling livestock; which results in true price discovery of the value of all classes of livestock and sets the cash market for all other methods of selling.

All qualifying events and the WLAC are broadcast live on LMAAuctions.com.

About the Livestock Marketing Association:
The Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., is North America's largest membership organization dedicated to supporting, representing and communicating with and for the entire livestock marketing sector. LMA has approximately 800 member businesses across the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.lmaweb.com.