The 2013 champion auctioneer is Brian Curless of Pittsfield. He has 21 years of experience, but this is only his second time entering the annual competition at the Illinois State Fair. He took the Illinois State Auctioneers Association title at midday, then auctioned off the steer at the Governor’s Sale of Champions at night. He will also compete in an international competition in Louisville next July.
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“My family was involved in the auction business,” Curless says. “My grandfather got in the auction business back in about 1940. I was the first auctioneer in my family, but they were involved in a livestock auction in my hometown of Pittsfield, Ill., from the 1940s until we shut that barn down in the year 2000.” There’s also a cash prize of $400.