Attending Auction School

Ross Daniels
April 13, 2020

Attending Auction School in 2009

Back in 2009, I was thumbing through my mom’s “Western Horseman Magazine”, and in the back I came across an ad that stated “learn auctioneering at The Western College of Auctioneering in Billings, MT”. I had always been interested in the auction field. Most of the interest came from growing up and listening to auctioneers at the local sale barns, farm auctions and personal property sales. I often thought that would be neat to learn. So, in March of 2009 I boarded a plane for a ten day class at a hotel in Billings.

A large class of students arrived the first day to begin this quest. People involved in many different fields in the auction industry came from all over the US and Canada. Like in the beginning of most new adventures, I was a bit nervous but eager all at the same time. The first mission was to learn to count in rhythm, which sounded easy until I tried it. Then came learning some tongue twisters to help with rhythm and loosening up our mouths.

The next several days we stood in a circle practicing our number drills and various tongue twisters. We had several different instructors to help and all were on the same mission to help us build the foundation of an auction chant. Other stretches in the day we spent in traditional book work, as well as storytelling.

After ten days and a graduation, we had arrived. Although I felt accomplished, I knew I needed to put in a LOT of practice. They told us upon departure to keep practicing and the speed would eventually come. That was a little tough to hear when I thought I would come home sounding like Ralph Wade!

The last eleven years have been an extended practice session. I constantly tune and tweak my craft. Auction school was one of the best journeys I have made, and my business has gone further than I ever thought possible. I met some of the best people and friends I still associate with today (more on that later). The Western College symbol includes a common rake to remind us of our first day of class. Nowadays when selling a rake, I go back to my first day at auction school and feel all the emotion tied to it!