How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck...

Synopsis: Herzog examines the world championships for cattle auctioneers, his fascination with a language created by an economic system, and compares it to the lifestyle of the Amish, who live nearby.
Genre: Documentary
44 min

that afflict the rest of the US.

The Amish

don't normally like being filmed.

They turned away

as soon as they saw us.

They viewed the championships

with an air of mistrust.

Even so, they still pitched a tent

outside the auction room

and handed out

free snacks from their farms.

The venue for the championships

is an arena in this building.

Inside, we eavesdropped

on an auctioneer

while he warmed up.

"We only have about an hour left now

until the contest starts

and there are 53 competitors here

from all over the US and Canada.

In fact, we don't have enough cattle

for all the auctioneers

and each has just three to six

minutes to show what they can do.

That's not enough time.

Normally, we need

ten to fifteen minutes

so that we can really warm up

and satisfy the buyers

and the judges."

And which of you gentlemen

is going to win?

"The best. That guy over there."

How do you find out

who is going to bid?

"No idea, you can just tell.

They wink, signal with a piece of card

or do this with their fingers."

How do you pick them out

from the crowd?

"I just find them. It's a gift."

We were curious to see

if the Amish could understand us

when we spoke German.

"I couldn't understand it."

What kind of work do you do here

during the auction?

"I open the door

and let the stock off the scales."

What is telling

is that their dialect has no way

of saying "world championship".

Before the auction, which sold

cattle worth two million marks,

you could inspect the produce

in stalls behind the auction room.

This contest is sponsored

by the "Livestock Market Digest",

a trade magazine,

published in the US each week.

This is the 13th annual World

Livestock Auctioneering Championship.

I must point out

one thing about the jury.

Their decisions

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck..." STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 15 Dec. 2019. <>.

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