Grant Union junior Cinch Anderson and Prairie City junior Carson McKay flew to Mason City, Iowa, in June where they experienced eight days of training at the World Wide College of Auctioneering.
The 16-year-olds, both FFA members, have been involved for years, showing livestock at the Grant County Fair in John Day.
Anderson is vice president of the Grant Union chapter and is the Strawberry Mountain District sentinel, and McKay is president of the Prairie City FFA chapter and is the Strawberry Mountain District vice president.
Anderson, who lives on his family’s ranch in Izee, has shown Herefords since he was 7 years old at various shows and auctions throughout the northwest.
“I’ve been going to different auctions and hearing auctioneers my whole life and thought it would be something I would enjoy,” Anderson said. “Ever since seventh grade, I wanted to go to auctioneering school.”
He spoke with auctioneer Butch Booker, who recommended the World Wide College of Auctioneering.
As Anderson prepared to sign up, he thought of his friend, McKay, who is also interested in the field, and asked if he’d like to attend.
Both young men have had opportunities to auctioneer at local events, including FFA functions.
McKay said he’s auctioneered for FFA for two years now, and he’s volunteered for other benefits such as Christmas on the Prairie in Prairie City last fall, an eighth-grade Philly Trip fundraiser, and he auctioned off desserts in Monument during the Fourth of July.
He said he’s been working to develop his public speaking skills for a few years.
“It’s not necessarily natural to me, but I have so much fun with it when I’m doing it,” he said.
Each received $1,000 from the Oregon Fair Board Association for the trip with Grant County Fairgrounds manager Mindy Winegar signing an endorsement for them, and they each received $100 from the Grant County Auction Committee. Anderson also received $500 from the Grant Union FFA.
The pair traveled by plane on their own for the July 16-24 training, where 71 students took classes, including 20 under the age of 18.
Anderson said they worked on their chant and learned how to communicate with people for business and auctioneering.
“They taught us everything from real estate, estate sales, livestock, car sales and benefit auctioneering,” he said, noting there were 26 professionals teaching.
“It was really fun to go there as friends,” Anderson said. “It was a really good time.”
McKay said the training was well rounded. He said he’d like to eventually break into livestock auctioning.
“It would be cool to open up a sale barn somewhere, someday,” he said, adding, “There is enough cattle around here — Madras and Vale are the closest.”
This month, Anderson jumped in with both feet.
On Saturday, July 14, he sold a filly through his family’s fifth annual High Desert Quarter Horses production sale at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center in Redmond. Then July 16, at the Central Oregon Livestock Auction in Madras, he had an opportunity to auction off about 20 drafts of butcher cows and small livestock.
“I want to get out and be around it as much as possible and get to know people in the business and work my way up the chain,” Anderson said.