Auctioneer earns repeat trip to world championships

EUGENE, Ore. - Even when the Eugene Livestock Auction Center is empty, his voice can fill the room.

Jake Cheechov recently qualified for his second World Livestock Auctioneer Championship. He finished 16th in the world championships in 2009.

While the words can sound like a blur, auctioneering is not just random babbling with a few numbers thrown in.

"In your auction chant, you want to use what you have and what you want to communicate effectively to your audience," Cheechov said, "where the bid is at and where you want the bid to go."

He has to keep the flow going, and the rhythm of the cadence is more important than speed.

"When you're on, it feels good," he said. "It's an amazing feeling when everything sort of comes together.

"It takes years to get to the point where you have a lot of rhythm."

Cheechov's auctioneering started as a senior class project in high school. Then it was off to college.

"As it turned out, the major that I'd chosen in college was a lot tougher than I had envisioned," he said, "so I started working auctions."

Now with the live auction business in decline, competitions like the world championships are vital.

"To be able to return again this year is just, is truly good for the industry," he said, "and good for me."