For Rimbey-local Dean Edge, auctioneering is more than an occupation, it’s a way to support area ranchers and give a little back to the community.
“Ability and confidence in a good auctioneer can help get a little bit more for your cattle,” said Edge in a phone interview as he was on his way to the airport, heading to the U.S. to compete in the 58th annual World Livestock Auctioneer Championship.
As ranchers only bring their cattle to market maybe once a year, they need to get a good price, he said.
He added that ranchers work hard for years raising their animals and he does the best he can to get clients the best price in the five minutes he’s working for them at auction.
The world championship is being held in small town Shipshewana, Ind., from June 9 to 11.
Edge finished fifth at worlds in 2019, but due to COVID-19 cancelling the event in 2020 and travel restrictions in 2021, he’s only getting a crack at it again now.
While he said it’s an extremely tough contest, he expects to finish near the top and is looking forward to rubbing elbows with some of the top names in the business.
While he would be satisfied to finish in the top 10, he said he wouldn’t be too surprised if he finished in top place, as he feel his chances are good.
It’s a multi-part competition, but he’s confident in his public speaking and industry knowledge and has kept his auctioneering skills sharp.
He used to competing under pressure — both as an auctioneer and as a pro rodeo athlete in tie down and team roping.
Edge noted he’s currently taking a break from rodeo and will not be competing at the Ponoka Stampede this year.
Although competitions have been few and far between lately, he’s stayed busy with bull are horse sales this spring. He is the sales manager of Vold Jones and Vold in Rimbey and auctioneers at their Ponoka location as well.
While there were a few Canadians who competed at the 2020 qualifier, Edge is the sole representative from Canada this year.
As it’s a judged event, he said even if he doesn’t place as well as he’d like, he can “come home and use that experience to represent customers, who are local ranchers, a little bit better.”
Edge’s interest in auctioneering was first sparked while sitting in class at the Rimbey high school as one of his teachers had a habit of slipping into auctioneering during lessons.
After high school he attended the Western College of Auctioneering in Montana, later returning to work at VJV in his hometown.
Over the years he’s had a number of good mentors, including his neighbour and 2004 world champion Dan Skeels.
Skeels said Edge is a “seasoned professional” who is very personable and well-liked. He added his only advice to Edge is to be himself.
“I think he’s got a pretty good shot,” said Skeels. “He’s got all the tools … he knows what it takes to get it done.”