The auction method of marketing livestock is making a big comeback. The bidding is back with zest and effervescent memories of the past. The excitement and delivery of an auction, not only brings fulfillment to ones life, it also fills the pocket book just a little fuller.
Though the bottom line is what it’s all about, life is more than just dollars and cents. It’s more about that sense of satisfaction and achievement that feeds the inner soul. There is nothing that will raise the adrenaline level like that of an auctioneer — announcing your name and bringing attention to the credence that sets you and your production apart from the competition.
This is the element that has been missing with the advent of on-line and private treaty marketing. Those intangible, values that can’t be measured, will usually add more to the bottom line that such intrinsic values as genetics and production records.
Among those of greatest value is that of relationships. If you’re in the business of marketing you’ve already learned this valuable lesson. I know I learned it early on in life, and it continues to contribute to my success in life.
Building strong relationships is the most important thing that you can do for your career, as I was soon to learn when I entered college. When I enrolled at North Dakota Sate University it was clear that my involvement in 4-H had built credibility and opened doors of opportunity within the inner circles of the University system. Having established name recognition with influential positions in the Extension and Animal Science departments, I was never in need of opportunity. It was up to me to make the most of these opportunities, and as I reflect back upon those days, I realize that those relationships were an important part of the foundation of the person that I’ve become today.

If you, likewise, have fostered these kinds of special relationships and have built a "foundation herd" from which to market your accomplishments — then call in the auctioneer.

The auctioneer you choose will be a greater determine! of the outcome, than the product you’re selling. Over the years my involvement in livestock marketing has covered every phase; from direct marketing, contract marketing, to livestock market planning and seminars. But that of greatest passion has been livestock auctions.
As an auctioneer there is that sense of empowerment and satisfaction, knowing that you have touched the emotions and the pocket-book of each and every potential buyer. Though it’s the last bidder that walks away with the prize, it’s those invigorated bidders that create the sale — a sale that usually far exceeds market value — as determined by the "intrinsic value" of the auctioneer and crowd.
There isn’t a livestock producer that’s worth his salt, that can’t receive market value for each and every animal he sells. Unfortunately the amount of money left on the table because of either insufficient knowledge or planning is insurmountable. So the auction method of selling isn’t for everyone, nor is every species of livestock benefited. It requires a qualitative appraisal of your operation that is quintessentially representative of the product you’re selling.
Not all livestock is best served by the auction method of selling. Meat type animals that are produced for the sole purpose of ending up on the "dinner table" will benefit no more than that of a value-based livestock procurement program. However, where less definitive values are determined, such as breeding stock and feeder cattle, there is no more effective market than that of an auction sale. Here the market is fed by emotion, amateur buyers, and the effectiveness of a good auctioneer.
If you’re thinking about having an auction to show case your accomplishments, and escalate your passion beyond that of just a lot of hard work — then call in the auctioneer.

(insightful stories written by Ken Knight)

Ken E. Knight is the author of the “Knightro Report”, a nationally syndicated livestock-marketing column, which is featured in this publication on a regular basis. Mr. Knight is a graduate of North Dakota State University, with a major BS Degree in Meat and Animal Science and a minor in Communications. In addition to being a professional auctioneer, public speaker and livestock judge, he brings many years of corporate level meat and livestock market management and expertise to the industry for which he now serves as an independent voice of shared knowledge and experience.


For more in-depth information regarding the topics that have been touched upon in this report, Knightro conducts livestock marketing seminars on a regular basis. To schedule a seminar, auction, judging, or speaking engagement, please contact Ken Knight, Knightro, W11911 County Road FF,  River  Falls,  WI 54022,  phone  toll free 1-877-KNIGTRO, phone 715-262-8480,  fax 715-262-8480, e-mail [email protected]t; or contact the Midwest Farm & Livestock Directory at [email protected].