“The Auction Way” with 2022 World Livestock Auctioneer Champ, Will Epperly

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Will Epperly about his livestock auctioneer experience

At the 2023 Livestock Marketing Association Convention, Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, had the chance to visit with Will Epperly, who is the 2022 World Livestock Auctioneer Champion. This weekend, the 2023 World Livestock Auctioneer Champion will be selected.

Will Epperly, from Dunlap, Iowa, was named the 2022 World Livestock Auctioneer Champion at the 58th annual competition held at Shipshewana Auction & Trading Place, Shipshewana, Ind., and presented by the Livestock Marketing Association.

“Ironically, the last 12 months have been fun, but it took me 12 years to win this contest,” Epperly said.

Epperly said he has dreamed of becoming the World Livestock Auctioneer Champion since he was a young child.

“My father had taught me long ago to set a goal and how you are going to achieve that goal and to never quit and never give up,” Epperly said. “I live by that today. I never give up and I never quit when I set my mind to something. I find some way around it no matter what.”

Epperly said he believes auctioning is the best way to sell, no matter what the product is.

“I think the auction way is the only way,” Epperly said.

In his travels, Epperly said he has learned about the different values of cattle depending on location. Vaccination styles and grading programs also differ depending on region, he added.

“Maybe some cattle that will come into my country that would be discounted would be popular in the southern part of the region just because they are a little more heat tolerant,” Epperly said. “With us, you have to be ready for the cold because you never know when it is going to hit.”

Epperly owns his own livestock market in Dunlap with two other individuals.

“We sell about 105,000 head per year,” Epperly said. “We market predominantly feeder cattle and bred cows. We do have a fat cattle auction every Tuesday, which we have seen grow quite a bit with the market the way it has been, and how high this market is.”

When packers must compete over a product that is sought after, Epperly said records will continue to break.

“We have seen it in the country when they have to be a little more aggressive, but they are not as aggressive as they would be in an auction setting, so that is why it is so important to get more of these live cattle traded through the auction way,” Epperly said.

The national herd is down, Epperly said, and selling by auction is a good way to build it and see those high prices last longer.

“I want to see the action way last on, where I can look on here from the great beyond and say, ‘I had a part in that,’” Epperly said.

The World Livestock Auctioneer Championship interview process will start on Friday at 3 p.m. eastern time and can be watched live on Facebook. The live-action round will be on Saturday at 8 a.m. eastern time in Arcadia, she added, and can also be watched on Facebook.

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