ELDERS Livestock Mount Gambier stock agent Ben Gregory and Thomas De Garis & Clarkson stock agent Hayden Lambert placed first and second respectively at this year’s ALPA South Australian Young Auctioneers competition.
Mr Gregory recently sold three bullocks at the Naracoorte Regional Livestock Exchange to win the grand prize, with Mr Lambert selling cattle.
Growing up a small Adelaide Hills property, Mr Gregory kicked off his career in agriculture with an Elders traineeship.
Mr Gregory said he had initially been knocked back for a traineeship and was told he needed to gain more real-life experience.
Heeding the advice, he spent a year working on a family friend’s Angus stud in Parillia before being hired.
The trainee program took Mr Gregory to Wagga Wagga, then Inverell, before he was rewarded with a permanent role in Mount Gambier.
While excited to receive the award, Mr Gregory said his ultimate prize was to represent clients well.
“Selling cattle for clients is very proud thing for me,” he said.
“I really like to be out there with them on their place, draft their cattle and tell them what price we might be able to achieve and then, the next day, get up on the rail and hopefully achieve that price or exceed it.
“That’s very, very, very rewarding.”
Elders livestock sales manager Loryn Gogel said Mr Gregory had only been one of Elders’ main auctioneers at Mount Gambier for six months.
“Ben’s come through from the Elders traineeship where he’s had a lot of exposure,” Mr Gogel said.
“He realises what it’s like to be down the back getting dirty, pushing up to what it’s like to be at the front where you’re communicating with people.
“Ben’s had a great deal of mentorship through that traineeship program and he’s hit the ground running.
Mr Gogel said as well as excellent market knowledge, Mr Gregory had the personal qualities of a successful auctioneer.
“His integrity is second to none, he has a good manner, a good rapport with people and a bit of charisma,” Mr Gogel said.
“He’s respected by his peers and his clients, and he’s just a very likeable guy.”
Placing runner-up, Mr Lambert has lived in Penola is whole life, growing up on a small farm around 15km north-east of the township.
He began a school-based apprenticeship in Year 11 and 12 and moved into a full-time position with TDC afterward.
Mr Lambert said the best part of being heavily involved in the agricultural industry was witnessing the start to finish cycle of stock.
“This could include buying breeding ewes to join, then drafting the lambs off and seeing the final product. It is the same with buying yearlings to put out in the paddock then drafting the bullock when they’re ready for sale,” Mr Lambert said.
Nutrien Ag Solution’s Jordan Heinrich placed third.