A career as an auctioneer was an easy sell for Ryan Hurlburt. Growing up on a cow-calf operation northwest of Saskatoon, he attended many livestock and machinery auctions that grabbed his interest at an early age. After receiving his auctioneer diploma in 2008, he worked his way through the University of Saskatchewan at an auctioneering company. After graduating in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness, Ryan took part in the Cattlemen's Young Leaders Mentorship Program, which really piqued his interest in livestock marketing.
After spending nearly two years as an auctioneer with Heartland Livestock Services in Yorkton, Ryan joined Saskatoon Livestock Sales in July of 2015 as an auctioneer and marketing representative. A large part of Ryan’s work involves being at the market every day, working with producers to provide them the tools they need to make informative marketing decisions. Each day, the cattle are brought into the market, and it’s Ryan’s job to read the experienced buyers and professionally sell the product to ensure producers are getting a competitive price. Ryan also travels around the province appraising cattle.
Ryan said his job plays an integral role in the agriculture industry because livestock auctions are the truest form of price discovery: farmers can bring in their product, sell it and get paid almost immediately. Since some farmers only make sales once a year, they will be relying on the income made from these sales for the next 11 months.
This price discovery helps maintain the economic sustainability of the livestock industry. In 2015, livestock farm cash receipts in Saskatchewan totalled $2.65 billion. Auctioneers, like Ryan, helped facilitate these livestock sales to ensure producers received the highest price for their animals.
Ryan adds that many of livestock auctioneers are nearing retirement, meaning there’s an opportunity for new blood. He admits there’s not much turnover in the industry, largely because the job is so great and nobody wants to quit.
Other careers in Agribusiness: Sales Professional, Marketer, Business Manager, Consultant, Policy Analyst, Market Analyst, Accountant, Financial Advisor and many more.
Other careers in Animal Agriculture: Veterinarian Technician, Animal Pharmaceuticals, Nutrition Expert, Animal Breeder and many more.
Where to take courses: University of Regina, University of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Polytechnic.
Average Yearly Salary: $62,733
Job Prospects: Good
Go back to the Agribusiness or Animal Agriculture Overview page to see more careers related to Ryan’s or visit My Blueprint.
*All salaries are based on the 2013 Saskatchewan Wage Survey Report