The ALPA Young Auctioneers Competition: Meet the faces heading to Nationals - Elders Rural Services

The ALPA Young Auctioneers Competition: Meet the faces heading to Nationals

The talent pool in the Australian livestock industry is stronger and more passionate than ever.

With the countdown now on to the Royal Sydney Easter Show, Elders is pleased to be sending its best competitors to represent the pink shirt in the 2022 ALPA National Young Auctioneers Competition.

Ryan Bajada - Victoria

Ryan Bajada will represent Elders Victoria.

Ryan Bajada has always had a passion for agriculture, particularly livestock, which he attributes to the guidance of his grandfather who ran a poultry feedlot in Malta, where Ryan lived until he was 10 years old.

Since joining Elders and working closely with the stud stock team, Ryan says it has become clear that auctioneering was the right path for him.

Ryan enjoys the fast pace and excitement of being an auctioneer while striving to achieve the best possible outcome for his clients.

“Elders has provided me with so many opportunities to master my craft and as I’ve grown and got more involved with the stud stock industry, it’s become increasingly clear to me that this is exactly what I want to wake up and do every day,” Ryan says.

“The stud stock industry has a huge carry through affect for the rest of the supply chain. It goes from creating profitability for the commercial producer right through to maximising yield and ensuring premium quality of the finished product that ends up on a plate.”

“I’m proud to play a part in Australian agriculture by supporting our primary producers and helping deliver a quality product to Australian consumers.”

Pearce Watling - Western Australia

Pearce Watling will represent Elders Western Australia.

Pearce Watling had an unconventional start to his auctioneering career, growing up on the north-west coast of Tasmania and studying agribusiness management at university, before coming across to the Elders Bunbury team after work placement there.

He now services the south-west region, selling cattle weekly at the Boyanup trade sale monthly, as well as auctioneering at weaner sales in November, December and January.

Pearce says the key to getting into the auctioneering game was to build confidence by having a go.

“I used to do a bit of mock auctioning with mates growing up, but my first time on the rails was at the Boyanup calf sales where Alec Williams said ‘if you want to sell you best get in and have a go’ and that’s where it all started. Then I attended an ALPA school at Muchea and then gradually sold more and more as my confidence built up,” Pearce says.

Passionate about the clientele in his region and the opportunity to represent them on the rails, Pearce has no plans of slowing down.

“I believe that if you surround yourself with good people, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Nathan McCarthy - South Australia

Nathan McCarthy will be representing Elders South Australia.

Nathan McCarthy is a fourth-generation livestock farmer who has been with Elders Lucindale since 2020.

In his short time with the business, Nathan says he has been fortunate to work alongside and learn from esteemed auctioneer Aaron Dix, who won the Young Auctioneers title in 2016. He says that listening and practicing have been key to getting better at auctioneering – his favourite part of the agent role.

“I absolutely love my job because of the people I get to work with, and I very much enjoy being around livestock in a farming environment,” Nathan says.

“Getting the chance to sell client’s stock and push them towards getting the most they can for every animal is a real privilege.”

Ben Gregory - South Australia

Ben Gregory will represent Elders South Australia.

Starting his career at Elders in Wagga Wagga New South Wales, Ben Gregory has found a home as Livestock Manager at Mt Gambier, working with sheep and cattle clients in the high rainfall area of lower South East and western Victoria. While he says that the competition process can be daunting, he says auctioneer school was invaluable.

“Auctioneer schools are a fantastic networking opportunity with agents from all over the state and interstate as well at a national level. The auctioneering side of the schools are very helpful and it’s a brilliant opportunity to have quality time with exceptional experienced auctioneers and voice coaches,” Ben says.

His advice for young agents? Find a mentor.

“I had a great experience during my time at Inverell in northern NSW. I gained a lot of knowledge about the buyer/client relationship side of agency from a great mentor in Richard Gleeson.

“Pick auctioneers that you like to listen to, ask buyers who they think the good auctioneers are and build your craft from there. It’s a great asset to any agent.”


Elders General Manager Agency Dave Adamson says that Elders have a track-record of fostering some of the strongest talent in the livestock agency arena.

“Elders are incredibly committed to helping develop the pipeline of talent coming through the next generation of agricultural professionals, through a number of programs and including the livestock traineeship,” Mr Adamson says.

“We’re very proud of the work that this year’s young auctioneers have put into honing their craft, and will be collectively tuning in to see them compete in April.”

The 2022 National Young Auctioneers Competition will go head to head on April 8 at 1:00pm AEST and can be watched via livestream at The Land.

Are you interested in a career with Elders? Learn about our Livestock Sales Trainee Program.

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