A group of young Victorian and Tasmanian auctioneers have been given an intensive lesson in the skills they will need to stay at the top of their chosen career path.
The Echuca saleyards were the venue for the annual Victorian young auctioneers school, run by the Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association (ALPA), who hold the schools in all Australian states.
The training is provided by senior auctioneers from different stock and station agencies in the state, and speech pathologists were also in attendance to provide feedback on voice use and breathing techniques.
The 17 students were from different centres around Victoria and Tasmania.
ALPA president and chairman Warren Johnston, who is a senior livestock auctioneer with Roberts in Tasmania, said the aim was to provide them with the tools they will use in their career.
"[We want them] to be better agents, have some clarity around selling and make some money for their clients," Mr Johnston said.
"All of these guys are under 25, they've been in the game for up to five years at the most," he said.
"There's some guys here who have never sold before, we've got guys who have a little bit of experience [selling].
"There [are also] fellows here who have been selling for a few years, they can get up and conduct a sale now."
Rob Bolton is now retired but spent 50 years working as a stock and station agent, and continues to help out at the annual Victorian school.
"I am a great believer in this sort of training," Mr Bolton said.
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"We see some prodigious talent come through.
"If you have a look at any auctioneer on a rail at any cattle or sheep sale in Australia, under the age of of 40, they've probably been ALPA educated.
"We train in every state and it is the same format wherever we go."
One of the students was Josh McDonald from SKB Rodwells in Warrnambool.
This was his second year in attendance, and last year he was selected to represent Victoria at the national competition in Sydney.
"You learn properly the first time," Mr McDonald said.
"That is the key to it, all the blokes here, the trainers, they are top-notch, they know their job.
"So you may as well learn from the best."
But once the school finishes and the young auctioneers head back to their respective bases, Rodwells senior auctioneer Anthony Delaney said it was up to them and their managers to keep practice happening.
"We could teach them as much here as we like, but until they get out there and get their hands into it and really dive in, that's when they really learn," Mr Delaney said.
"To me auctioneering is something that until you are completely seasoned you've got to be doing it on a daily or at least weekly basis.
"It is hard if you are in a centre where you are selling only once a month.
"It is hard to just stay good selling just 12 times a year where you might just get a crack at.
"It is like anything, practice makes perfect."
Mr Delaney believes that for some who are attracted to the idea of being a livestock auctioneer, there is a later realisation that it is not for them.
"Young agents will try it, they will either love it or they don't," he said.
"They have got to want to be able to do it. There is nothing worse than trying to put someone into it [and] it is not their thing.
"Generally you will find they will give it a go they will start off on the bulls, a few cows, the bobby calves.
"If it is a sheep selling centre it is the rams or the mutton sheep.
"Then we're going to get a taste for if they want to go on with it or leave it alone.
"Many great agents are not auctioneers."
Based on their performance at the school in Echuca, 10 of those attending will be chosen to take part in the 2019 ALPA Victorian Auctioneers Competition, which will be held at Pakenham on September. 9.
The winner and runner up there will represent Victoria in the national competition at the Sydney Royal Easter Show next year.