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Kuchera three for three in auctioneering contests

By Lisa Young

Date Modified: 02/06/2014 12:12 PM

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MINNETONKA — John Kuchera is three for three when it comes to state auctioneering contests.

He recently added Minnesota to the states where he has topped the state auctioneers association's auctioneer contest. He previously won North Dakota and South Dakota competitions.

His most recent victory came at the Minnesota State Auctioneers Association's Championship Auctioneer Contest, held Jan. 9 at the Sheraton West in Minnetonka. The Minnesota edition is one of the best, Kuchera said.

"Minnesota most closely resembles the national contest," Kuchera said. "They really run a top-shelf contest."

Kuchera is from Wyndmere, N.D.

Wyndmere is only 25 miles from Minnesota and South Dakota. Auctioneering with Helbling Auctioneers has taken him across all three states and into memberships with three auctioneering associations.

So how do auctioneers compete for best MSAA bid-caller?

They need to bring three items of their choosing to sell in a preliminary round, where they are judged for their cadence, cues and presence by a panel of fellow auctioneers. If they make it to the finals, contestants must first answer a couple questions from the panel on the profession and why they got into it, which is the most unnerving part, Kuchera said.

Then contestants need to sell three items they have only been able to look at briefly.

"You pretty much just have to be yourself," Kuchera said. "You're not doing anything you don't do when you're selling at a regular sale, but you're getting judged by your peers and leaders in the business. It's just a matter of trying to remain calm. One of the main reasons I started (competing in auctioneering contests) was just to be more comfortable in front of a crowd. It just makes every time you do it easier."

In addition to judges and peers, anyone could be looking on, especially now that the MSAA livestreams its competition online. Kuchera was able to auctioneer in the Netherlands and the Philippines following stints at other contests.

All-in-all, Kuchera just enjoys auctioneering and the opportunity for some friendly competition with peers is a nice bonus.

Fellow finalists included reserve champion Brandon Nelson, Nelson Auctioneers, Ellendale; third-place finisher Tammy Tisland, Aasness Auctioneers, Bemiji; fourth-place finisher Cody Aasness, Aasness Auctioneers, Fergus Falls; and fifth-place finisher Scott Mihalic, Scott Mihalic Auctioneering, Chardon, Ohio.

The MSAA Rookie Champion was Paul Kruger.