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Brad Martens crowned Canadian livestock auctioneer champion

Westlock auctioneer beats out 36 other competitors from across Canada
WES - Livestock Auctioneer Champ
Westlock livestock and heavy equipment auctioneer Brad Martens, recently won the Canadian Livestock Auctioneer Championship in Lloydminster, May 6. He will represent the Canadian livestock market at the International Livestock Auctioneer Championships in Strathmore in July.

WESTLOCK – Brad Martens has been auctioneering since he was a teenager.

The 46-year-old livestock and heavy equipment auctioneer with VJV Auction Co. Westlock Cattles Sales, was recently crowned the Canadian Livestock Auctioneer champion, beating out 36 other competitors in Lloydminster May 6.

Martens began auctioneering at 19 years of age and his passion for the industry has helped him carve out a successful career.  

“Auctioneering is one job that I’ve never woke up and said I need a change in my career, ” said Martens. “It’s been a very joyful career and a lot of fun.”

Martens pointed out some of the criteria that placed him above the rest in the recent competition. Judges looked for an auctioneer’s rhythm, clarity, how they control the auction, as well as several other variables.

“We had three other judges that did an interview with us and asked us questions that related to the livestock industry,” said Martens. “You have to be aware of what’s going on in our industry and the cattle market.”

No stranger to the industry, Martens grew up around the auction business and cattle. He began selling as an auctioneer at 19 for his dad at the Edmonton Stock Yards, before working for the Nilsson Bros. in Clyde. He also worked for various markets in central Alberta and in 2004 he moved to selling heavy equipment full time for Richie Bros. Auctioneers.  

“I got to travel to the different auctions with my dad and follow his footsteps. I’ve had the privilege of selling all over Alberta for livestock and I’ve got to sell all over the world for heavy equipment,” he said noting places like Japan, Australia, China, Dubai, India and across Europe.     

Martens spoke about what he loves about the industry and being an auctioneer.

“Whenever you start a career, you go back to it because that’s what you really enjoy doing,” said Martens. “I love livestock … you have to be sharp, and you have to know what you’re doing when you’re selling cattle.”

With the Canadian title now under his belt, Martens is moving on to the International Livestock Auctioneer Championship in Strathmore, July 15.  He will represent the Canadian livestock market and will be sponsored by the Livestock Markets Association of Canada. The event will feature auctioneers from across Canada, the U.S., and Australia.

Martens has competed in the international event before, winning the International Rookie Champion in 1998. In the last international championships, held just before the pandemic, he finished in fourth place.

“Just getting back and seeing friends and other auctioneers that we haven’t seen because of COVID, from the U.S and all over. It’ll be a nice get together again and try to get back to the normality of things,” said Martens.

Kristine Jean,