Auctioneer Off to World Competition

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JUNCTION CITY, Ore. — How many times did your parents tell you, “slow down, you’re talking too fast.”

Well, “fast talking” is a good thing at least for one profession.

One local man is aiming to bring home a world title for auctioneering.

When football players play it’s in a stadium. Musicians perform in the concert hall. For Jake Cheechov, his arena is the livestock auction.

“The signature of a good auctioneer is a good microphone,” Cheechov said.

He’s a full-time auctioneer in Klamath Falls. Plugging-in at the Eugene livestock market is like coming home.

He got his start in high school. His first real gig was a charity auction for school. He prepared by studying the pros, and it’s not as easy as it sounds.

“You know it was just no rhythm,” Cheechov said.

Rhythm, it’s what Cheechov learned at auction school and finessed over the years.

“When I’m selling I’m not talking much faster than I am right now. It’s just the rhythm people assume is speed,” Cheechov said.

Each auctioneer adds his own cadence or filler sounds. Talking is just part of the equation.

When Cheechov is at the helm, he’s watching the seller and the buyers.

“You are sort of the referee that has to sort through those games, collect bids and at the same time make the cattle bring true market value,” Cheechov said.

When Cheechov competed in the Regional Livestock Marketing Association’s qualifying event, he placed in the top ten, earning him a spot at World Livestock Auctioneer Championships next June.

The top 30 auctioneers compete in a cattle auction. They’ll be judged on voice quality, clarity and bid-catching ability

It’s his second time going against the best of the best. In 2009 he came in 16th. His goal is to bring home the title.

“It would be the realization of a dream I’ve had since college. It would be a great honor to win,” Cheechov said.

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