Will Epperly, from Dunlap, Iowa, was named the 2022 World Livestock Auctioneer Champion at the 58th annual competition held at Shipshewana Auction & Trading Place, Shipshewana, Indiana, and presented by the Livestock Marketing Association.
“It was such a powerful moment,” Epperly said. “I thought to myself, ‘this can’t be real,’ and the emotions that came over me were a flood. It was joy, excitement and nervousness for the year to come, but I hope to represent everyone and the Livestock Marketing Association very well.”
This was Epperly’s 12th year competing at a WLAC-affiliated event. He earned his spot to compete in this year’s competition by winning Runner-Up honors at LMA’s 2022 Midwestern Qualifying event. Thirty other contestants also qualified through three regional qualifying events.
Justin Dodson of Welch, Oklahoma, earned Reserve Champion honors, and Jacob Massey from Petersburg, Tennessee, was named Runner-Up Champion.
Other top ten finalists were Eric Drees, Caldwell, Idaho; Dean Edge, Rimbey, Alberta; Steve Goedert, Dillon, Montana; Wade Leist, Boyne City, Michigan; Sixto Paiz, Portales, New Mexico; Jake Parnell, Sacramento, California (High Score Interview); Barrett Simon, Rosalia, Kansas (Rookie of the Year).
Additional semi-finalists were Zach Ballard, Presho, South Dakota; Andy Baumeister, Goldthwaite, Texas; Neil Bouray, Webber, Kansas; Brandon Frey, Diagonal, Iowa; Joshua Garcia, Goliad, Texas; Philip Gilstrap, Pendleton, South Carolina; Brandon Hamel, Natoma, Kansas; Michael Imbrogno, Turlock, California; Marcus Kent, Dunnellon, Florida; Lynn Langvardt, Chapman, Kansas; Kyle Layman, North Platte, Nebraska; Justin Mebane, Bakersfield, California; Daniel Mitchell, Cumberland, Ohio; Ross Parks, New Concord, Ohio; Chris Pinard, Swainsboro, Georgia; Jack Riggs, Glenns Ferry, Idaho; Jeff Showalter, Broadway, Virginia; Dustin Smith, Jay, Oklahoma; Andrew Sylvester, Wamego, Kansas; Curtis Wetovick, Fullerton, Nebraska; and Tim Yoder, Montezuma, Georgia.
Kristen Parman, LMA VP of Membership Services, said, “LMA is proud to sponsor an event that brings together North America’s top livestock auctioneers in a competition that showcases professionalism and promotes the auction method of selling livestock.”
As the new champion, Epperly will spend the next year traveling the country, sharing his auctioneering skills with other livestock auction markets and acting as a spokesperson on behalf of the livestock marketing industry and LMA.
“I look forward to meeting new people, getting to travel the country, getting to see different markets and how they run around the United States,” Epperly said. “The greatest part of it is the opportunity to represent them and the industry we serve.”
Epperly, a self-taught livestock auctioneer, works for Dunlap Livestock Auction in Dunlap, Iowa, and West Point Livestock Auction, Inc. in West Point, Nebraska. He lives in Dunlap, Iowa, with his wife, Ally, and son, Zeke.
WLAC fans can mark their calendars for the 2023 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship, which will be held June 7 to 10, 2023, at Arcadia Stockyard, in Arcadia, Florida.