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Going Once, Going Twice, SOLD!

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Growing up on a working cattle ranch as an only child, I was always helping with processing cattle, meaning that we were branding them for identification or doctoring them if they were sick. My dad, a full-time cow, calf and yearling rancher throughout multiple counties in California, kept us very busy. This also gave me the opportunity to be in and out of sale barns with my dad, going with him to sell or buy cattle.

Throughout my experiences there, though, I had always been treated no differently than the cowboys; I worked alongside. In fact, Dad always called me his right hand. Standing at just a little over five feet tall, I often had to remind myself that it is heart over size that is most important. At the same time, I always loved to bring a girly side to what we did. My mom, a first-grade schoolteacher, always made sure that my outfits were spot on in the auctioneer world, hence the flower that I always wear in my cowboy hat, making a little trademark for myself.

It is through my experiences with my dad that I developed what has become my biggest strength: I never knew I couldn’t do something. That’s how I know that ranching is what gave me the confidence to be the first person in my family to become an auctioneer.

It all stemmed from my 5th grade class, where we had an economics lesson in which we had to pay rent on our desks with Monopoly™ money that we earned from our class jobs. The class jobs ranged from being the door opener, class librarian or the messenger, but there was also the class auctioneer. I came home and told my mom and dad about the economics lesson. I explained that I wanted to be the auctioneer or the class messenger. Dad said that, if I wanted, he could get me lessons from a local auctioneer so that I could interview for my class job. Little did I know that, using those memories and experiences from my class job, it would be such a life-changing experience, creating a career for myself later in life.

I had always been told I did things too quickly, whether that was riding horses or my rate of speech, which was probably why I was drawn to auctioneering. Therefore, it’s no surprise that, at the ripe old age of 12, I began attending auctioneer school with world champion livestock auctioneers such as Max Olvera, Ralph Wade and Johnny Rodgers. With age, I started doing more and more fundraiser auctions to the point that I now do about 40 of them each year. These range from SWAT teams, school fundraisers, Salvation Army to community service clubs. As an FFA member, I also sell multiple county fairs and a variety of other things. During the busy seasons of spring and fall, I am booked practically every Saturday. By the summer of 2022, I competed in my first auctioneering competition, making me a junior national champion auctioneer.

While at auctioneer school, I got the opportunity to meet Celeste Settrini, who taught us the importance of social media as advertisement. Because of her advice, in about March 2019, I started posting strictly auctioneering videos. When COVID hit during my 8th grade and freshman year of high school, the time off school gave me a lot more time to develop my horsemanship, roping and cattle knowledge. I started posting various ranching videos, all of which fascinated people because they had no clue what ranching was truly like or the processes that went into it. I now have about 46,000 followers on Instagram who love seeing what everyday ranching is like. Because of this, I became much sharper with knowledge of the cattle business, and that went hand and hand with what I needed to know to auctioneer in the sale yards.

Once the economy and society opened back up, Max Olvera, an owner of Turlock Livestock Auction Yard, told me I could start working there when I got my driver’s license. Let me tell you, I was never more excited to pass that test. The summer between my junior and senior year in high school, I began working there selling cows. It was a rough go, considering how fast-paced and unpredictable it was, but I got better with every dairy cow. In October 2023, I began selling at Cattlemen’s Livestock Market for Jake Parnell. There, I got the chance to sell beef cattle. Once again, I loved it very much. I am more than thankful for all of these opportunities.

Now, at 17 and a soon-to-be-graduating senior come May, my goals are to be the first female world champion livestock auctioneer and to continue my dad’s ranching operation. With that, I am more than proud of what I have accomplished so far, but truly I cannot wait to see what I will accomplish in the future.

Thank you; if you would like to see more, please check out my Instagram @graysonhaydnmyer