Selling livestock, Worland Livestock Auction runs strong
Worland – Every Thursday is filled with hustle and bustle at the Worland Livestock Auction. It is a sale day and owners Jim and Stacy Newby enjoy and take in every minute of it.
The Worland Livestock Auction has been around since the 1950s, and it is always receiving new updates and welcoming past and new clients.
“We are a husband-and-wife team running a sale barn,” says Stacy. “We are the smallest sale barn in Wyoming, but our market is always comparable, if not better, than the bigger sale barns.”
She adds, “Together we work really hard to make it the best for our small producers.”
Running a sale every week is no easy feat, she continues.
“It takes a lot of people to get a sale accomplished,” says Stacy. “We have great people working for us, and they allow us to achieve everything that we need to get done.”
Benefits of small
The Worland Livestock Auction is the closest sale barn for a lot of the smaller towns in the basin area and is known to have lowest commission rates in the state.
Each week, they sell cattle and sheep.
“That’s what a sale barn is here for – to help out the small producers who have 100 head instead of 500,” explains Stacy. “We are constantly getting new people, which is great. They are choosing to come here, as opposed to somewhere else.”
The Newbys purchased the sale barn five years ago with Prewitt and Company, which is based out of Sidney, Mont.
Jim was with Prewitt for 15 years as an order buyer before purchasing the sale barn and continues buying and trading cattle with Prewitt for big producers.
Two years ago, they were able to buy Prewitt out of their partnership.
“At first it was trial by fire. It was a challenge for me having no training to jump in and run the computer and scale, but after one sale in the books, everything turned out great, and I was ready for the next one,” said Stacy.
“Outside of the sale barn, our other job is buying and trading cattle in the country. The big producers don’t come to the sale barn, so we buy and trade cattle for them,” says Stacy.
Week to week
The weekly routine at the sale barn and the routine of a sale day can seem basically the same, but there is always something new that appears.
“It’s sort of like being on the same road, but the amount of traffic changes everyday,” Stacy says. “It keeps it absolutely refreshing and not everyday is the same. There’s always a new challenge.”
“One challenge that we had with the sale barn was that it was pretty run down, and we had to do a lot of maintenance to it,” says Jim.
Maintenance to the barn includes upgrades of all of the old wooden railroad pens, installation of a continuous fence and installation of waterers in the pens.
“We are constantly working to upgrade an old building to make sure that it is clean and looks good,” says Stacy. “Anytime we have a little extra time, we try to do something that will improve the sale barn.”
Loving their work
While moving at a pace of 100 miles an hour seems slow to the Newbys, they wouldn’t have it any other way because of the people that they work with and meet at their sale barn.
“We have such great people that work for us, and we have some great relationships with them. They’re not our employees – they’ve become family,” says Stacy.
“That’s what we really love about it is that we get to meet some great folks, and they help us in every way that they can,” replies Stacy. “That’s what is key in accomplishing our mission everyday. We couldn’t do it without them.”
Both of the Newbys volunteer time with the American Legion, the Eagles and support Washakie County Cowbelles and the Lion’s Club. They also sponsor local Washakie county kids in wrestling.
“We are super involved with the community here and try to be a part of it as much as we can, so it feels like home. It’s great to be a part of a city and to see that city grow,” claims Stacy.
“Anytime that we can try to help organizations that are ag or veteran-oriented we try to do,” she says.
“I have a saying that I’ve been using since I was 18 and in the military,” she continues. “Everyday is a training day. We can learn something everyday. Even if we learn what not to do again, we’re still training.”
If running a sale barn and being involved with the community was not enough, the Newbys built their own personal feedlot at the end of their property that can hold a little under 1,000 head of cattle.
“It was all cleaned out at Christmas time, and now we are restocking it,” says Jim.
During the summer, things slow down at the sale barn, and they will switch to having a sale every other week at the auction.
“Summer is the time where we have time to do all of the maintenance of redoing pens, fixing fence and work on other projects that we have going on,” says Stacy.
“A lot of my life experience helps me accomplish life’s everyday tasks, and Jim’s life experiences growing up on a ranch his whole life helps him with everyday tasks,” explains Stacy. “It’s very natural for us and fits for us to run this sale barn. That’s who we are and that’s how we grew up.”
Madeline Robinson is assistant editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at email@example.com.