Young auctioneers are the next generation in the Riverina's agricultural success stories

WHEN Trevor Dawson had the idea of introducing the skills of auctioneering at a high school level it planted a seed among young people to learn and important craft.

The agriculture teacher from The Riverina Anglican College in Wagga drew on the talent of some of the region's top livestock agents and auctioneers and allowed school-age children to participate in an auction.

The mock auction, for the sake of competition purposes, attracted students from The Riverina Anglican College, Yanco Agricultural High School and the Wagga Christian College.

Three students from each school have now advanced to the next round and ultimately the final, which will be held at Ganmain Show on August 24.

Students advancing to the next round from Yanco Agricultural High School:

  • Rory Walsh
  • Ryan Thomas
  • Hamish Maclure

Wagga Wagga Christian College:

  • Charlotte Nugent
  • Bianca Staines
  • Edward Bergmeier

The Riverina Anglican College:

  • Caitlin Rodham
  • Lachlan Garnock
  • Thomas Marcantelli

On Friday students 'sold 'some prime lambs to the bidders in the crowd. They were encouraged by their teachers, friends, livestock agents, auctioneers and parents.

While many of the students came from an agricultural background, most had little to no experience in the art of talking quickly.

Wagga Christian College student Charlotte Nugent said it was the first time she got to be in the auctioneers' shoes.

"It was stiff competition, but it was great to work with an auctioneer in the lead up who taught us all the tips and tricks," she said.

"Just watching ... you could see the different styles of auctioning from the way people call out to the increments."

Although she was unsure of her success, the year 11 student said her focus was on her breathing and keeping control of the bids.

The competition was very stressful for year eight TRAC student Charlotte Dendy, who also took the gavel for the first time.

"My first shot wasn't the best and it was scary, but my second go was better, I felt like I was improving," she said.

"The most important part was to give it a good crack and don't be afraid."

Wagga is known for being a breeding ground for young auctioneers. Each week the sheep and cattle sales at Wagga's Livestock Marketing Centre provide an ideal platform for auctioneers to perfect their skills.

In the past auctioneers from Wagga have won the coveted young auctioneers competition at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. And the region often hosts auctioneers schools through the Australian Livestock and Property Agents (ALPA).

However, the inter-schools auctioneers competition is believed to be unique and a first for children of high school age to start learning the craft.

Despite the fact auctioneering had long been dominated by males the success of females was evident on Friday.

ALPA southern regional manager Liz Summerville said there are currently female auctioneers and agents in the livestock industry.

"I think it is fantastic to see young women coming through in the industry and learning these skills early on," Mrs Summerville said.

"To get a glimpse of what they can do in their school-based programs is fantastic," she said.

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