A taste of auctioneering comes to the classroom

UNDER THE HAMMER: The Riverina Anglican College students, Tom Marcantelli, Henry Roberts and Lachie Garnock learn about auctioneering from Landmark Wagga's Ned Balharrie and Jim Binks. Picture: Nikki Reynolds
UNDER THE HAMMER: The Riverina Anglican College students, Tom Marcantelli, Henry Roberts and Lachie Garnock learn about auctioneering from Landmark Wagga's Ned Balharrie and Jim Binks. Picture: Nikki Reynolds

A MIX of maths, agriculture, speech and drama plus some good Aussie humor is all rolled into one when livestock agents take the art of auctioneering to the classroom.

It's no secret that Wagga is home to some of Australia's finest auctioneers. And these people can be heard in action each week at the Wagga sheep and lamb market and the cattle sale.

The Wagga Livestock Marketing Centre provides a great training ground and auctioneers from this region are often successful in the prestigious young auctioneers competition at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

However, a new incentive aimed at high school students, has brought the skills of auctioneering to an even younger audience.

PADDOCK TO PLATE: Cattle from The Rock Angus being held by TRAC students Georgia Thompson, Susannah Gooden, Ella Hughes and Tom Marcantelli. Picture: Nikki Reynolds

PADDOCK TO PLATE: Cattle from The Rock Angus being held by TRAC students Georgia Thompson, Susannah Gooden, Ella Hughes and Tom Marcantelli. Picture: Nikki Reynolds

The Riverina Anglican College (TRAC) Year 7 student, Lachie Garnock, 13, said he was looking forward to the sessions with auctioneers so he could learn important lessons for the future.

TRAC agriculture teacher, Trevor Dawson said the skills held by auctioneers would be beneficial to the students.

"They will learn confidence building, how to handle themselves in a crowd, and how to think and count at the same time," he said.

Mr Dawson said the students may not choose to become auctioneers as a career but the skills were valuable.

This enthusiasm has been mirrored by other schools in the region too. Mr Dawson said he put the call out to other schools a few months ago to see if more students would be interested in an auctioneers competition.

As a result, five schools, plus TRAC have opted in. This means livestock agents from Wagga are regularly visiting the classrooms to help prepare students.

"All of the schools involved have aligned themselves with an agent and the agent is tutoring the kids in the skills they need to know from linguistics to speech right through to the actual process (of selling)," Mr Dawson said.

Ultimately the event will culminate in a final at the Ganmain Show on August 24.

Landmark Wagga auctioneers Ned Balharrie and Jim Binks shared some of the tips of the trade in the classroom at TRAC. They also showed video footage of colleague Shannon Wicks during the Sydney Royal Easter Show young auctioneers competition.

In fact, some of the criteria from the young auctioneers competition, fostered by the Australian Livestock and Property Agents (ALPA), will be picked up and used in the schools competition.

RELATED COVERAGE: