Ten of the best young auctioneers in Queensland will battle it out for the state title at the Silverdale Saleyards, from 1pm Thursday. Until then, get to know this year's finalists in our list below.
Queensland Country Life will be livestreaming the event, which can be watched here.
Morgan Harris, TopX Rockhampton
THE Silverdale saleyards, venue for the 2020 ALPA Young Auctioneers Competition, will be familiar ground for Morgan Harris, TopX Rockhampton.
As a schoolboy and later, as a university student about to secure a Diploma of Rural Management, he spent long hours at the saleyards watching, listening and toiling away at various jobs.
So, in some respects, it will be a homecoming of sorts.
"I am really looking forward to this chance," the 22-year-old confided.
"I want the experience of going down there and selling. I want to give it my best shot and I am looking forward to selling to a different scenario and I hope to do well and progress."
Mr Harris sells store and prime cattle each week at the CQLX complex in Gracemere, just outside Rockhampton, and admits it's a dream job.
"I really enjoy what I do. When I was at Roma I was doing a traineeship, so that was never a full-time spot and I was lucky enough to be offered a job here in Rocky at the end of the traineeship," he said.
"I like driving around and meeting the clients and making those interactions as much as I like getting up and selling the cattle.
"I like going to the clients place and drafting either on their property or at the saleyards, and I definitely want to stay working in the industry, selling cattle, increasing my client base and getting further on in the industry."
Away from the hustle and bustle of the saleyards, Mr Harris divides any spare time between games of rugby league and touch football. He also relishes "mucking about" on the family farm just outside Boonah.
Cody Trost, GDL
LESSONS learned a year ago could hold Cody Trost, GDL Rural Blackall, in good stead in the 2020 Young Auctioneers Competition.
A candid Mr Trost, 23, said he may have made a few miscalculations when he appeared at the Brisbane Ekka alongside nine contemporaries for the Queensland state title won by Townsville's Liam Kirkwood.
He felt he "learned plenty" from a three-day workshop and competition at the Central Queensland Livestock Exchange in Gracemere before heading south to the capital.
"Going in to it last year, I probably did not quite understand exactly how the competition would run," he confessed.
"The way we sell at the saleyards is quite different to how we had to sell in the competition. At the saleyards it's go, go, go but in the competition you need to take your time and give each lot the time it deserves.
"I probably rushed it a bit too much, but this time I will be more cautious.
"Without having the school this year, I hope I can carry through with the good habits I learned last time."
The lift in sales activity borne of improved weather conditions and higher prices has allowed Mr Trost additional selling time and the obvious chance to continue refining his technique.
"To be very honest, it will be very different in the competition this year because we won't be back in Brisbane; we'll be at Silverdale," he said. "But that's okay because we have been very busy here in Blackall, so I've had the chance to get plenty of selling under my belt. We have gone from selling fortnightly to weekly sales and I have seen my business grow quite a bit.
"In terms of our branch, it has been a good year and we haven't really stopped since late January and I want to thank GDL for giving me this chance again."
There's a natural fit to Mr Trost's role considering his dad is an agent with vast experience and he cannot recount a time when he never harboured hopes of following his father's footsteps. "I never wanted to do anything other than this," he said. "I like dealing with the producers and growing their business."
Simon Kinbacher, Elders Rockhampton
SIMON Kinbacher, Elders Rockhampton, can call on past experience to help him through the 2020 ALPA Young Auctioneers Competition.
A year ago he was among the finalists for the 2019 version, impressing in the qualifying trials at Central Queensland Livestock Exchange, Gracemere, and then competing strongly in the state final at the Brisbane Ekka in August, eventually won by Liam Kirkwood, Ray White Townsville.
"Being in it last year taught me a lot," he said. "Looking back, I did not really know what to expect in Brisbane.
"The crowds at the Ekka were huge and the exposure in front of so many people was really unexpected and it caught me off guard.
"This time around I will have a bit more of an understanding of what the competition is about and what is required of me and I won't be as nervous."
Mr Kinbacher, who grew up in Biggenden then started work in Dalby before moving north to Rockhampton, admits he is tough on himself.
He seeks advice from auctioneering contemporaries, including tips from someone who knows a thing or two about being successful behind the mic - past ALPA national champion Anthony O'Dwyer.
"I want to be the best auctioneer I possibly can so I mark myself pretty hard. I want to keep improving and I'm selling every Wednesday at Gracemere and monthly at Gin Gin and I keep refining what I do. If I can keep improving, I will do a better job for Elders and the clients and that's what I want," he said.
Brady Jackson, Elders Roma
TRY as he might, 24-year-old rugby enthusiast Brady Jackson cannot think of a time when he wanted to be anything other than an agent.
As a youngster he would visit the saleyards and marvel at the hustle and bustle, the chatter and the theatre of the auction.
It was something he found interesting and the fire still burns.
"I've always had an interest in this side of the industry," he said.
"My family have a property near Gympie where they run Brangus and someday I will breed stud cattle because I'm really passionate about that.
"But I have always wanted to be an agent and I can remember going to the saleyards as a kid and watching everything that was going on. I don't think I wanted to be anything other than be an agent."
He's been part of the team with Elders Roma for more than four years after securing a traineeship and then graduating to the full-time staff.
"The favourite part is working with the clients and trying to get the best possible result on sale day and the last six months the prices have been really good," he said.
"This is something I really like doing and I plan on sticking with it for years to come. I believe you can make a real career out of this business, that's for sure.
"I like the auctioneering side. I have a pretty good mentor at the Roma saleyards and I have been able to learn off our senior auctioneer.
"I felt pretty good when I heard I was a finalist. I have been in the competition a few times before but this time I will try to be a bit more relaxed.
"It will be something different this year being able to sell at Silverdale and I am going to practice besides selling once a week."
Corey Evans, AussieLL
FOR each of his 22 years, Corey Evans has lived and breathed the cattle industry and nothing is about to change.
"I have always had a big interest in the beef cattle industry because I've lived on a beef cattle farm all my life and I just love it," Mr Evans, Aussie Land & Livestock, Kingaroy, said.
Mr Evans is facing his third tilt at the ALPA Young Auctioneers Competition and is as eager as ever.
"Those earlier times were good," he said. "It's always a lot of fun down there and the experience is great.
"It was all up in the air as to whether it would happen but when the letter came from ALPA I was quite excited and looking back I gained confidence from both occasions I've been in it because it was selling on a big stage.
"This year will be different again because it's at Silverdale.
"I will keep practising by selling cattle.
"I am selling every fortnight at the store sales and we also run a monthly sale, so I'm getting to five sales a month at Coolabunia and Murgon."
Mr Evans has only ever worked at Aussie L&L, which gave him a job soon after his school days came to a close.
"I am as excited by the job now as I was on the very first day. I could not see myself doing anything different," he said.
"The rewards for our clients and the satisfaction of achieving top results is probably one of my favourite parts of the job. But I also love drafting cattle for clients and finding the best options for them."
Wyatt Wrigley, Eastern Rural Dalby
AN honour and a reward is how Wyatt Wrigley, Eastern Rural Dalby, views his inclusion in the state final of the ALPA Young Auctioneers Competition.
The 21-year-old will face the judges for the second time after appearing in the 2018 renewal and is still thanking his lucky stars.
"This is a fantastic industry to be in, especially where I am, and going forward I hope to better myself as an agent because it's a profession I see myself being in for a very long time," he said.
"To be working as I do is a privilege and to be honoured with a chance at the competition is something else again. I am a hard marker of my own performance. I record myself selling most weeks and try to improve on what I am doing.
"It's very encouraging when you have a win like this (qualifying for the final) to know the work you are doing is paying off."
Mr Wrigley says he has been on this trajectory since his school days, but it could be earlier.
"In 2016, I got a school-based traineeship with Eastern Rural and when that finished they offered me a job and I could not be more grateful," he said.
"But I had known them before. Eastern Rural were my parents' agents and I got to know the guys when they would come out and draft and prepare our cattle and I was fascinated by everything they did.
"I knew it was the job for me."
A regular at the Dalby sale yards selling fat and store cattle, Mr Wrigley acknowledges Peter Bird, his boss, for invaluable support and guidance.
"It's been a privilege to be alongside Pete."
Justin Rhode, Nutrien Ag Rockhampton
TWENTY-year-old Justin Rhode is finding dreams come true.
As he poured over schoolbooks in the classroom as a slightly younger man, he thought long and hard about how good it might be if he were involved in the stock and station side of the agricultural sector.
Now he knows, and he's loving every minute of his role with Nutrien Ag in Rockhampton.
Originally part of the team at Landmark Rockhampton before its change to Nutrien Ag, he relishes working alongside such industry notables as Julian Laver, Michael Lynch and Trent McKinlay in the beef capital.
He holds a Chattels Auctioneers licence and sells each week at the Central Queensland Livestock Exchange in Gracemere and also at Miriam Vale once a month.
"I've been been in the industry for two years and I still can't believe it," he said.
"All I ever wanted to do was to get into the stock and station side of things and I was lucky enough to get a job chasing cattle on a station in central Queensland first off and then I got my dream job just six months out of school.
"I took the opportunity with both hands and I try to learn as much as I can every day and I absolutely love the career I have."
A fan of fishing, crabbing and a round of golf, Mr Rhode is well aware of the assignment ahead of him.
"I feel pretty honoured to be a finalist because this whole competition is surrounded by a lot of industry experts," he said.
"It has a big reputation because people go on from here to compete at a national and international level. I'm not saying I will go that far but when you think about it, it's easy to understand how important the competition is. That's why I feel privileged to be part of it and I will give it my best shot."
He enjoys marketing livestock, developing relationships with clients and growing their business.
"I like talking with people and my favourite part of the job is doing the best for our clients," he added.
Jake Robinson, Nutrien Ag Roma
JAKE Robinson, Nutrien Ag Roma, confesses to being surprised when named among the 10 finalists for the Queensland leg of the ALPA Young Auctioneers Competition.
At best, he said, he was hopeful of making the cut.
"I feel pretty good about being in the competition final," the 21-year-old admitted.
"But I did not know I would get in. I was only hopeful about being involved and I have to thank the people here at Nutrien for nominating me and giving me this opportunity to represent them.
"It's going to be a great experience."
Mr Robinson was raised in Tamworth in New South Wales where his family is involved in beef production.
Away from the family farm, he got a taste of other facets of the agricultural business during his high school years and has relished the past few years working in an industry he enjoys.
"I did some work experience in Tamworth for Landmark (now Nutrien) and then got a job up here," he said.
"I like this business so much it's going to be my career for the foreseeable future.
"I find dealing with clients and getting a good result for them is a favourite part of the business. It leaves you feeling pretty happy because you get a sense of having achieved something."
To ready himself for an appearance at Silverdale, Mr Robinson will continue to sell store and prime cattle each week and, as always, will make recordings.
"I listen to what I say and work out ways to improve," he said.
Brodie Hurley, Nutrien Ag Injune
A CHANCE offer five years ago has given Brodie Hurley, Nutrien Ag Roma, a burgeoning career and a second crack at the ALPA Young Auctioneers Competition.
Mr Hurley was drafting feedlot and kill cattle for a fellow who questioned whether the young rugby enthusiast wanted to forge his way into the stock and station side of the industry.
"I said I probably would and about a month later he rang me out of the blue and said 'I've got a job for you if you want' so I had a go," Mr Hurley said.
"I did a weeks trial in Dalby with Landmark and they offered me the the job and that's when I started. That was five years ago and I've been selling for four years and loving every minute of it."
A year ago, Mr Hurley sampled the ALPA competition for the first time and and freely admits his 2019 effort was lacking.
"Last year, I learned that I needed to make a better presentation to make it right. The guy who won it last year had a very good manner and a very good presentation and I've been practising," he said.
"I sell every Tuesday at the saleyards in Roma and the team at Nutrien have been really helpful and Rod Turner also helps us a fair bit with our selling technique.
"I am super happy to be in it again and it might be a bit disappointing not going to the Ekka but you cannot have everything and I am glad to be doing it because it is a great experience."
Mr Hurley does his best to absorb as much information about the industry as he can, insisting every day offers different opportunities.
"I like to learn something new every day because I want to advance," he said.
Connor Veerart, Bartholomew & Co
CONNOR Veerart, Bartholomew & Co, Beaudesert, has a future plan for himself.
But the 23-year-old, whose family train and show cutting horses alongside a cattle breeding and backgrounding operation at Purga, isn't getting ahead of himself despite impressive credentials.
He holds Real Estate, Motor Dealer and Chattel auctioneers licences and is busy at weekly prime cattle sales at the Moreton saleyards (open auction and vealer section) and each fortnight at the Beaudesert saleyards (store sales - heifers, cows and bulls).
Mr Veerart has worked on and off with Bartholomew & Co for more than four years.
"I finished school in 2014 and we had always sold cattle locally through our agents there and I got to do a bit of work here and there," he said.
"I was working at home and part-time for these guys for three years or so, and as I started doing more and more for them, they offered me a job.
"I took that on and started with them in January, 2019, and that's brought me to where I am."
Mr Veerart said he intends on becoming more involved in all aspects of selling livestock, both cattle and equine.
"I plan to continue to broaden my client base and network within the industry to become a well-rounded stock agent," he said.
"I am excited to be participating in the competition. This will be a great opportunity to be up against people from other regions and to get my name out there.
"And to represent Bartholomew & Co and network with like-minded people."