Ben Wright and Brooke Cushion make a nationwide mark among young rural professionals
PGG Wrightson secured a quinella at the tenth annual Heartland Bank Young Auctioneers Competition, held in Canterbury in early November. Ben Wright, a sheep and beef representative for the company based in Manawatu, finished first in the contest, while Brooke Cushion, a PGG Wrightson dairy, sheep and beef representative in Waikato, was runner up.
Ben Wright says having plenty of practice selling in Feilding and being surrounded by experienced colleagues willing to train him in the basics has helped develop the skills that won him the young auctioneer title.
"I was thrown straight into selling at auction from the start of my career and have no shortage of older guys coaching me the whole way through.
"A good auctioneer needs to be confident, as well as having a bit of charisma and character. You also need to be able to use your voice, which has always come easy for me," he said.
Callum Stewart, PGG Wrightson livestock national genetics manager, said the competition was an excellent opportunity for young rural professionals to show their skills.
"Auctions have played a vital role in the rural economy for centuries and have always been an essential part of PGG Wrightson's identity. Although technology is providing some exciting alternatives to sell livestock, produce or property, the auction is likely to remain an integral part of agribusiness for the foreseeable future.
"Earlier this year PGG Wrightson implemented an auctioneers strategy, which helps identify and train promising auctioneers with a bright future. Ben and Brooke are part of that programme, which helped them to show up, shine, and edge out their peers from other companies. They can be proud of their success, which stands them in good stead as they develop their careers.
"A smartly run auction will achieve the best possible price for a farmer selling stock, feeding directly into the business bottom line. Ben and Brooke have shown they are masters of the craft and will do that for many farming businesses in the future," said Callum.
PGG Wrightson reps Russell Moloney of South Otago and Matt Holmes of Oxford also featured strongly in the Young Auctioneers Competition, which was for entrants under 30.