North Dakota Winter Show adds new event showcasing auctioneer talent

North Dakota Winter Show
Farm Forum

Valley City, N.D.– Calling all auctioneers!

The North Dakota Winter Show is hosting the inaugural “King of the Sale Ring” event on Sunday, March 1.

An auctioneering contest will be held, with auctioneers judged in three categories: presentation (how the auctioneer carries himself, his introduction, initial command and overall appearance); chant and voice (voice control, clarity of chant, rhythm, speed and use of filler words); and effective auctioneering (eye contact, body language, accuracy and salesmanship.)

The contest consists of two rounds. In the first round, each contestant will sell three items that they have donated. Then, after they’ve been scored, the top five auctioneers will work a second round, this time selling five items that are provided by the Winter Show.

It’s a way to bring recognition to the profession of auctioneering and to have a little fun at the same time, said Kelly Klein, organizer and MC of the event. Auctioneering “is something that’s overlooked by a lot of people,” he said. The public also has the chance to purchase items at a good value, when they are sold by the competitors. “Everybody’s always looking for a bargain.”

The entry fee is $50; first place wins $1000 and a custom designed buckle. Second place receives $500 and a custom knife, and third place gets $250 and a trophy mug.

Klein said there will be another category, for those ages 65 and over, an Old Pro Division. The crowd will serve as judge. First place in the Old Pro Division wins $250 and a trophy mug.

Entries will be accepted up until the start of the contest on March 1.

Klein is a second generation auctioneer who attended auctioneer school in 2002 in Mankato, Minn. His first job as auctioneer was at a sale barn in Albany, Minn., and since then, he’s sold cattle in sale barns across the country.

He loves his job. “I enjoy everything about it,” Klein said. He likes seeing the end product: selling livestock for a cattle producer. “The rancher brings his calf crop to town, and that’s his yearly income. It’s all in your hands to get him a paycheck. There’s pressure on you to do your job, to do your homework, and to know what you’re selling.”

The King of the Sale Ring event is one of many planned for the 83rd annual North Dakota Winter Show, to be held in Valley City Feb. 29-March 7. The celebration includes a concert by Jerrod Niemann (Feb. 29), a ranch rodeo (March 5); horse and pony pulls (March 5); livestock shows (March 1); a high school rodeo (March 6) and PRCA rodeos (March 6-7).

For more information, visit the website at or call 701.845.1401.