By Andrew Spence
A prestigious Calgary Stampede belt buckle will head to Australia thanks to the efforts of Naracoorte’s Ronnie Dix.
The South Australian, who works for agribusiness company Elders Lucindale, has been named Rookie of the Year at the International Livestock Auctioneer Championship, beating a talented field of competitors from Canada, the United States and South Africa for the title.
Billed as ‘The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth’, the Calgary Stampede attracts more than a million visitors a year and features one of the world’s largest rodeos, agricultural competitions and chuckwagon racing.
Twenty-four-year-old, Ronnie (pictured in headline image), says it’s an honour to represent Australia at the event.
“I felt very proud. The people in Canada and everyone on the committee are all very welcoming and would do anything to help you. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time so far,” he says.
“I am so lucky to have been afforded this opportunity, thanks to ALPA, Quadrant Australia Ag Tours and Scan Clear in Deniliquin.”
Ronnie also had the opportunity to sell at auction markets in Alberta leading up to the competition.
“Selling in Innisfail and Panoka was an unreal experience where I had fun showcasing how we do it in Australia, which they absolutely loved,” he says.
The Australian Livestock & Property Agents Association (ALPA) runs training and competitions for auctioneers in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia.
Ronnie won the SA ALPA Young Auctioneers Competition in 2015 before taking out the National competition for auctioneers aged under 25 at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in March to book his ticket to Calgary.
Last month the 2016 South Australia ALPA Young Auctioneers Competition was taken out by Elders Jamestown’s Jack Coleman over Dean Coddington from Elders Keith.
The pair will take on the winners and runners-up from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria at the 2017 Sydney Royal Easter Show in April for the right to represent Australia at next year’s Stampede.
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