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Torrington Livestock Markets welcomes new owner

Written by Saige Albert

Torrington – Last week, Lex Madden, Shawn Madden and Michael Schmitt announced that Shawn would be selling his part of Torrington Livestock Markets and Cattle Country Video (CCV) to long-time Torrington Livestock employee Chuck Peterson.

“There won’t be much change in the operation of Torrington Livestock or Cattle Country Video,” Lex comments.

Chuck Peterson grew up in Kremmling, Colo. He graduated from Colorado State University and has been a field representative for Torrington Livestock Market for the last 10 years.

“We’re proud to welcome him into the organization,” Lex says.

“Chuck wanted to move up from employee to stock ownership, and Michael increased his level of investment,” Shawn says. “They were interested in doing more, and I was interested in doing a little less. They’ve got a good future ahead.”

Working together

“My brother and I have been partners on everything for 40-plus years, in all the entities that we’re involved in – farms, ranches, real estate and more,” Lex says.

The brothers were born and raised in Lusk, graduating from high school and going different directions after high school.

“I went to Chadron State for a semester and then to University of Wyoming (UW),” Lex comments. “Shawn went to Casper and played basketball. Then, he came to UW to rodeo.”

Traditions of working in sale barns run deep in their family, as well.

“My father used to own the sale barn in Lusk in the fifties and sixties, and he also owned one in Wheatland,” Lex continues. “He was a self-taught auctioneer.”

Lex and Shawn jumped into their venture at Torrington Livestock Markets 28 years ago.

The brothers each won the World Livestock Auctioneering Championship, and in the 53-year history of the Livestock Marketing Association, they are the only brothers to win. Lex won in 1998 and Shawn won three years later in 2001.

New ventures

Lex and Shawn are still partners in a number of other ventures, including farms, ranches and real estate. Shawn opted to step away from the auction market and focus on other ventures.

“We were there for 28 years, and I don’t plan on doing nothing now,” Shawn says. “And I’m not just going to disappear.”

Shawn notes that his time working at Torrington Livestock has been very positive and rewarding.

“It’s been very fun for us, especially with the relationships with buyers, sellers, producers and others,” he continues. “I’m still going to be around some.”

Shawn notes that he plans to take some time off, but he’ll also continue to manage their farms and ranches, along with dealing with some cattle.

“We want to thank Shawn for his leadership and dedication to the livestock marketing industry,” Lex says.

Inside Torrington

Torrington Livestock Market is currently Wyoming’s largest auction market, offering cattle for sale daily via live cattle auctions, video cattle auctions and private treaty sales.

“Torrington Livestock has been in operation since 1934, and we’ve been in ownership for 28 years,” Lex says. “We’re still here to provide full service. It’s business as usual here.”

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..