The important role livestock auction markets play in helping provide consumers around the world with safe, nutritious food was the focus of an award winning speech by 15-year-old David John Macedo at the 2012 Livestock Marketing Association s annual meeting being held in Modesto, Calif.

Macedo, a high school sophomore from Tulare, Calif., detailed the many positive steps livestock auction markets take to ensure the wellbeing of millions of head of livestock that move through the hundreds of auction markets across the country each year.   Auction markets have long been a part of the livestock industry in helping meet the expectations of buyers and the product quality demands of consumers, Macedo explains. But there are organizations out there that don t want this important industry to continue, which is why this issue is so important to me and others in this industry who help feed a growing world population.

He adds, As part of a third-generation livestock operation and auction market, I ve seen firsthand the high-quality care livestock receive and the value auction markets play in trading livestock between buyers and sellers. It s a legacy I hope to continue when I get older.

Macedo wrote and delivered the original speech, The Livestock Market Industry Past Traditions, Present Challenges and Bright Futures Sold on Success, as part of the California FFA public speaking contest, which he won as a freshman. Following is a transcript of the award-winning speech. A video of Macedo giving his speech at the 2012 Livestock Marking Association s annual meeting can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GglPGgRhqtI&feature=g-upl.