Five San Joaquin Valley auctioneers qualified for the world championship during the first qualifying event, held last week at the Tulare County Stockyards in Dinuba.
Mike Godberson, 22, of Pawnee, Okla., won the qualifying event Friday for the Livestock Marketing Association's World Livestock Auctioneer Championship, which are scheduled for June in Knoxville, Iowa.
The reserve champion was Brennin Jack of Canada. Garret Jones of Los Banos was runner-up champion.
Four of the seven remaining finalists who earned a spot at worlds are from the Valley: Chuck Cozzitoro, Hilmar; Mike Imbrogno, Fresno; John McGill, Le Grand; and Justin Mebane, Bakersfield.
The Livestock Marketing Association says the contest is held during an actual sale, with live bidders in the seats. Contestants are judged on the clarity of their auction chant; vocal quality; their ability to catch bids and conduct the sale; and finally, if the judges would hire the auctioneer for their own livestock market.
Each year, there are three qualifying events. The remaining qualifiers will be in Kentucky this month and Missouri in January.