Eliza Berlage, Naracoorte Community News
A budding auctioneer from Lucindale will compete for a national title, after judges named him state runner-up.
Despite only beginning his training this year, Nathan McCarthy placed second in the South Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association Ltd Young Auctioneer competition in Naracoorte this month.
The 20-year-old said he hoped to “follow in the footsteps” of his boss, Elders Lucindale livestock agent Aaron “Ronnie” Dix.
“He was the one that got me into auctioneering,” Mr McCarthy said. “I grew up on a farm and while I knew of the job I didn’t really explore it until I left school.”
Mr McCarthy said auctioneers needed to be quick-witted, charismatic and have strong breathing control.
The competition involved a full day of “auctioneer school”, which included formal training from coaches and speech pathologists, in early July.
“There was a whole range of boys there with different levels of experience,” Mr McCarthy said. “Some had been doing it for only a month, and others had been doing it for several years… I have been doing it for about four months.
“(The day) was about teaching us different ways of breathing and improving memory.”
The day after auction school, four of the competitors from across the state were required to sell three lots of cattle to buyers at the Naracoorte Regional Livestock Exchange.
“While you were selling you were judged on your accuracy, clarity and other aspects of auctioneering,” Mr McCarthy said.
In the face of some nerves when he ﬁrst got on the rail, Mr McCarthy said he was able to “get on with the job”.
“I was surprised when it was announced that I had come second,” he said. “I was very happy and excited, as you could imagine.
“Overall the judges said I was pretty good. When I spoke to them after they said the reason I didn’t come ﬁrst is that some of my calls were (priced) a bit under what they should have been and I could have been a bit clearer.
“Just little things I could critique before (the national competition in) Sydney.”
Ben Gregory from Elders Mount Gambier took ﬁrst place, and the two will compete against auctioneers from around Australia for the national title later this year.
Mr McCarthy said prior to the competition he had called at the livestock exchange, clearing sales and an auction at his football club in Padthaway.
He said being involved in the industry at a time of record prices was “pretty exciting”.
“I enjoy going out to clients’ farms and being able to share knowledge and learn things,” Mr McCarthy said.