Early attendance at droughmaster auctions led to passion
FROM an early age, Joshua Heck was captivated by the sounds of auctioneers.
Growing up on the family farm west of Gympie, the Hecks would often attend auctions to sell their stud droughtmaster cattle.
It was there, amid the yelling, the fast talking and the sound of the hammer falling, a young Joshua became enthralled by auctions.
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"I used to imitate the auctioneers," Joshua said.
"I've always had a passion for cattle and hearing the way the auctioneers conducted themselves - it just grew on me."
On Thursday, the selling agent from Savage Barker and Backhouse Rockhampton was on the "big stage" selling three lots of cattle in the National Young Auctioneers competition at Sydney's Royal Easter Show.
Joshua was named Queensland champion at the Brisbane Ekka last year.
The national final attracted eight of the best young rural auctioneers in the country and, while he didn't take out the title, Joshua was clear, concise and very strong in his pitch.
"Coming to Sydney, I said to myself, as long as I sold well, I would be happy," he said.
"It was a really good experience.
"The hardest part was keeping control of the nerves, the adrenalin of the event.
"I was pretty happy with the way I sold. I just wanted to do my company and family proud."
Savage Barker and Backhouse manager Damien Freney was in the Big Top Amphitheatre to watch his young stock agent compete.
"Joshua sold very well. He was exceptionally clear and certainly did not disgrace himself," he said.
With an agribusiness degree and his auctioneer's licence, Joshua will continue to ply his trade at Savage Barker and Backhouse sales.
"The support I get from Damien, the livestock agents I work with in Neville Messer and Adam Geddes, to the entire SBB team, is incredible," Joshua added.
"What I love about agency work is you are always out visiting clients and meeting new people."
It is those remote country areas where Joshua finds time to practice - in of all places, his car.
"You can't pick up the radio in some country areas, so I just use the time to make up a false sale and start auctioning," he said.
Fortunately for Joshua, those skills have paid off and he has come a long way since his very first auction, selling heifers for his parents.
And just like that first auction sale, the Hecks were there, as was proud girlfriend Megan Gurnett.