TAKING chances, learning from the best and knowing your product were the hallmarks of success for Bendigo livestock auctioneer Zeb Broadbent.
The 23 year-old was named the top young auctioneer in Victoria at the ALPA Victorian Young Auctioneers Competition in Packenham last week.
Chosen among the top 10 auctioneers under 25 showing the strongest potential in the field, participants had to sell three lots of three cattle at a commercial sale at the Victorian Livestock Exchange.
They were judged on diction and clarity, as well as their chosen initial price and relative result.
Mr Broadbent said getting the right opening price was the most important thing.
"You've got to know what it's worth," he said.
"You didn't get judged if you make more, it's how close you get to what it's worth.
"At the end of the day, good stock will sell itself."
Growing up on a sheep farm at Bridgewater, Mr Broadbent developed a strong understanding of the sheep industry and saw an opportunity in the livestock selling field.
With the central Victorian region predominantly focused on sheep, he moved down to Gippsland for two years to build a knowledge base in selling cattle.
"Bendigo is about 80 per cent sheep and 20 per cent cattle. Down in Gippsland it's probably 20 per cent sheep and 80 per cent cattle," Mr Broadbent said.
"It was a good opportunity to get away from home and learn about a new part of the state. It's all completely different down there. I had a great boss down there and learnt a lot.
I would have regretted it if I hadn't have made that move to Gippsland.Zeb Broadbent
"I would have regretted it if I hadn't have made that move to Gippsland I think."
He came back to Bendigo one year ago to work as a livestock selling agent with McKean McGregor, spending every Monday morning selling lambs at the sheep and lamb sale at Huntly.
He said growing on a farm had been a great help to his career, but not everyone involved in the industry had grown up with on-farm experience.
ALPA chief executive officer Andy Madigan said the auctioneer competitions were always a highlight on the calendar.
"This year it drew the attention of some younger agents from Victoria wanting to see what happens and hoping to be selected next year," he said.
"It is a great opportunity for the younger members of the industry to get involved and build on their profession."
Zeb Broadbent will represent the state at the ALPA National Young Auctioneers Competition at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in March next year.