David Whitaker took home a championship buckle from his first trip to Canadian Western Agribition.
Five judges deemed the auctioneer from Ames, Iowa, the best among four competitors in the Winners Circle auctioneer competition.
“I’m humbled to be a champion on such a big international stage,” he said.
Whitaker typically sells farmland in Iowa and sells livestock only a couple of times a year. At Agribition, the competitors auction the horse pull teams to sponsors to raise money for STARS ambulance.
The entrants were the top four selected from video submissions before the show. They are judged on their speed, clarity, rhythm and overall presence.
Whitaker, who with his wife raises purebred Angus cattle, said Agribition is all about competition.
“What we’re here to do is to promote our industry and showcase agriculture, and one of the ways we do that is through competition,” he said.
“It brings out the best innovation, the best quality, the best everything. In Canada, you’re doing an absolutely outstanding job.”
He said he had been sending photographs of cattle home.
“I’ve already told my wife we need to come up next year so we can look at the cattle again so that we can maybe bring some home back to the States,” he said.
Whitaker spent some time ahead of Agribition at auction marts in Moose Jaw, Sask., Weyburn, Sask., and Saskatoon with auctioneers he has met through past competitions. During the show, he worked as a ring man at the bison sale.
Asked about the recent election of Donald Trump as U.S. president, he said there has been some talk about more protectionist policies such as country-of-origin labeling, and he hopes the U.S. and its trading partners can work together for the benefit of all.
“I do hope that just because we changed pilots on the plane doesn’t need to mean that people hope the plane goes down,” Whitaker said.