TEN young, up-and-coming stock agents from across the state displayed their auctioneering skills at the Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association’s (ALPA) 31st annual Victorian Young Auctioneers Competition recently and Leongatha’s Jack Ginnane took the top prize.

Now, as the Victorian champion auctioneer, he’s headed for the national final at the Sydney Royal Easter Show on Thursday, April 1.

Thankfully for the local footballer, that date won’t clash with the start of the Gippsland League season with Leongatha not due to play its first game in 2021 until Saturday, April 10 at Traralgon.

The competition, which was held at the Shepparton Regional Saleyards on Tuesday, February 23, had been postponed from last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it was clear the young stock agents were ready to go.

They each auctioned three pens with Jack impressing the judges and the audience, both on-site and via livestream, with his salesmanship skills.

And while Jack told the Stock and Land newspaper during the week he’s only been selling cattle for four months, since legendary Leongatha auctioneer Brian McCormack threw him on to the rail in November last year, the breeding is strong.

Jack is the son of Nutrien South Gippsland director Terry Ginnane, himself a consummate auctioneer, and has watched his old man, and the best of the best locally, from his early years.

Another stand out competitor was runner-up Will Schilling, from DMD Horsham, who mainly sells sheep and lambs back home but stepped up to sell cattle without a hiccup.

Peter Baldwin, the CEO of ALPA, was impressed.

“We’re so grateful to be able to have run this event after the year that was 2020 and each of our finalists absolutely sold their hearts out,” Mr Baldwin said.

“They had a challenge to face, but they can all be very proud of themselves and each competitor made their families and their farms proud too.”

The panel of three judges selected Jack and Will as the winner and runner-up for their diction, values, voice and manner, as well as “their ability to establish their own presence and a unique style” whilst selling cattle for the highest and best price they could.

The two will represent Victoria and test their skills against other state champions at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

Mr Baldwin said he was confident the future of stock selling was in good hands although noted ALPA wanted to encourage both men and women to pursue a career in this great industry.