The chant heard round the world

There some of the most interesting people in the room. Their fast talking skills command your attention, and you better pay attention or you might miss your chance to bid. No matter what you are selling whether it be equipment, crafts, cakes, or cows the auctioneer is a vital part of the auction process.

This Friday night, the North Carolina Simmental Association will host their annual meeting and fundraising auction the night before the Fall Harvest Sale on Saturday. The North Carolina Simmental Association does a great job welcoming members both new and old, along with out of state consignors to join in on their meeting. It begins with a great meal (make sure you try the potatoes) and is followed by a short business meeting, and then the auction. This year we have a great treat for the auction. Dustin Rogers; NCSA member, Simmental breeder, and International Auctioneer champion will be joining us to serve as our auctioneer for the fundraising auction. Items are sold to benefit both the adult and junior associations. We are very excited to have Dustin join us on Friday night.

Allow me to introduce you to Dustin and discover what its like to be a International Auctioneer champion!

Tell us about yourself.
My name is Dustin Rogers.  I was born and raised in Mount Airy, NC or better known as Mayberry.  I grew up as the third generation in my family’s real estate and auction company.  In high school I wanted to be a large animal vet and concentrated all my effort between showing cattle and trying to spend time with a blue eyed beauty across town, who is now my wife!  Britni and I have two children, Kenedi Blaire (9) and Hudson (6).  Soon after graduating high school in 2004 I attended Mendenhall School of Auctioneering in High Point, NC.  From then on there was no question I wanted to be an auctioneer.  Today I work serve as the Lead Auctioneer for CAT Auction Services, Auctioneer for Ritchie Bros Auctioneers and do contract auctions of real estate, automobiles, livestock and fundraisers.  When I’m not traveling conducting auctions, I spend every minute I can with my family on Turner Mountain Plantation in the rolling foothills of Northwest North Carolina.
Tell us about your Simmental operation.
I have been in the Simmental business since 2001. I started with Simmentals when I was 15 years old.  I had been around cattle my whole life and raised a few Angus/Hereford steers with my grandfather as a kid.  When I entered high school I wanted to be more involved with cattle and start a herd of my own.  A family friend, Jeff Brinkley of MagMar Farms Simmental, invited me to his house to work and help halter break show calves.  I think they thought it would also break me of the desire to show cattle.  I loved it.  Jeff introduced my dad and I to Alan Belcher of Black Ridge Simmentals.  Soon after I owned my first two Simmental heifers, BRS Krystal K66 and BRS Kiwi K300.  Krystal was a bald faced calf sired by HC Power Drive 88H.  She and I became best friends.  After a successful local show career she became a productive brood cow for us and stayed on the farm until 2009.  Our operation went from 2 heifers in a barn that I built on my grandfathers farm in Spring of 2001 to purchasing 6 more females from the In The Black sale in Rockbridge Baths, VA.  There we met Doug Parke who helped us learn what to look for.  From 2001 to 2009 I raised Registered Simmental Cattle and sold locally and in the NC Fall Harvest Sale.  In 2009 I was traveling more and more for work and the cattle operation became a struggle.  I sold my entire herd.  It only took about a month of not getting to see cattle grazing to miss it bad.  Spring of 2010 I teamed up with a friend in the commercial cattle business and placed a group of bred heifers on our place.  I enjoyed it but missed my Simmentals.  I bought and sold some cattle for a short time but finally made our way back into the Simmental business in 2016 after Britni and I closed on our dream farm.  We had purchased a farm in 2012 with the intent to someday build, but God had other plans.  Today we own both farms and also lease a few surrounding farms.  We have worked with Extention, Soil & Water, NC Cattlemen’s, NC Forage and Grasslands Council and other producers to improve water quality, soil quality and establish the best grass we can for our cattle.  Our Simmental operation now consist of black and red Simmental and SimAngus females.  We are enrolled in THE and trying to retain all our heifers for the next few years to build our herd numbers and build a program.  We sell some freezer beef locally and see that as a market we will continue to expand.  Our kids are starting to show some interest in showing so hopefully our involvement in Simmental will only grow in the future.  Along with cattle we also raise Tennessee Walking Horses, Nigerian Dwarf Goats, Laying Hens and Grassfed Feeder pigs.
Where did you get your love for the auctioneer chant?
My grandfather got in the real estate business in 1964.  In the early 70’s he started an auction division to what is now Rogers Realty & Auction Company.  I grew up watching my father and his team conduct real estate, farm and estate auctions around Northwest NC and Southwest VA.  At least part of me wanted to be an auctioneer from the time I was a kid.  I remember going to the National Auctioneers Association’s Convention as a kid and watching the International Auctioneer Championship.  Hearing the chant of some of the best in the world planted seeds for my future long before I ever realized it.
What does a typical week look like for you as an auctioneer?
I have conducted auctions in seven countries and across the US.  Our schedules vary during the year so it’s not always the same wide open pace all the time.  During our busy season which is getting ready to ramp back up, a typical week would involve flying out on Monday, doing 2-4 sales during the week in different states and then flying home Thursday night or Friday morning.  I typically do 5-10+ fundraising events per year on Friday or Saturday nights and sometimes work auctions on Saturday mornings.
How did you get involved in competing as an auctioneer?
I started competing in auctioneer competitions in 2005 in the NC Rookie Contest.  You can enter that contest twice, in 2005 I got Reserve Champion and 2006 i was able to win Grand Champion Rookie. In 2007 I competed in the first ever International Junior Auctioneer Championship in San Diego, CA.  I finished 3rd in that contest which at the time was for 21 and under.  That contest really got me hooked on pursuing something bigger and not competing against other competitors but competing against the me I was yesterday.  In 2009 I competed in my first International Auctioneer Championship.  In 2010, I made the finals for the IAC.  In 2011 I won reserve champion and placed in the top 3 every year after 2011 until finally winning in 2017.
What does your contest involve? What is the exact title you won this year?
I am the reigning Men’s International Auctioneer Champion.  My friend Sara Rose Bytnar from Florida won the Women’s Division this year and will serve with me as Ambassador’s for the National Auctioneers Association (NAA).  The International Auctioneers Championship is hosted by the NAA at their annual Conference & Show, which travels around the country every July.  The contest is open to any auctioneer who is a member of the association, attends the conference and is at least 18 years old.  All contestants sell two items in the preliminary round.  Contestants find out their order and what they are selling in a roll call meeting at 7 AM the morning of the contest.  Each contestant is judged on their initial command, poise, stage presence before they sell their first item.  Each auctioneer is judged on clarity, speed (too fast or too slow), rhythm, effective auctioneering and salesmanship.  The Top 15 Men and Top 7 Women are taken to a sequester room before the interview round.  Finalist order is drawn and the first contestant is escorted to the stage.  The interview consists of three questions, the contestants do not know the questions ahead of time.  Two questions tend to be association or industry related and one tends to be a personal question or one that requires the contestant to think and dig deep to speak from the heart.  The Interview portion counts for 40% of the final score.  The IAC Champion is the Ambassador for the National Auctioneers Association traveling to state associations speaking, judging contests and more.  The interview portion allows the judges to see past the bid calling portion and identify a professional that could represent the industry well whether being asked questions by the media, a potential seller or buyer or another auction professional. Click here for article about Dustin’s title
What advice would you give to a young person who wants to become an auctioneer?
I have been able to work with several younger and beginning auctioneers on their chant and also on finding work.  First step to become an auctioneer is to attend an Auction School.  I attended Mendenhall School of Auctioneering here in North Carolina.  There are several excellent schools across the United States.  I’d be glad to discuss choosing an auction school with anyone whose considering taking that step.  Auction school, much like your formal education, gets you prepared for a licensing exam and helps you establish the basics of being an auctioneer.  It’s what you do with that knowledge that will help you become an auctioneer.  I have been a licensed auctioneer since 2004.  I still practice my chant almost every day.  Networking is also a critical key to being a successful auctioneer.  Join your state and National Auctioneers Association.  This will allow you opportunity to meet the best of the best.  Whether you want to sell cars, cattle, estates, real estate, equipment, benefits, etc you can meet the men and women who champion those fields at those association meetings.  Put your name out there and be willing to earn your spot.  I started by pushing boxes and loading vehicles at estate auctions when I was young.  I’ve been the bottom man on several totem poles in my career.  Make the most of every opportunity and treat every interaction like a job interview.  I stay pretty wide open, but always glad to talk with an aspiring auctioneer and do what I can to help them be successful.


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