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PRESS RELEASE

Auction markets raise over $230,000 for Nebraska flood relief

Image showing the destruction after the flood

July 3, 2019

Thirteen auction market members of the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) hosted the sale of a roll-over auction animal earlier this spring to support Nebraska flood relief efforts. The livestock sales, which took place across Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming raised more than $230,000 worth of proceeds.

Member markets who hosted roll-over sales included Alma Livestock Auction, Alma, Neb.; Atkinson Livestock, Atkinson, Neb.; Basset Livestock, Bassett, Neb.; Beatrice 77 Livestock Sales, Beatrice, Neb.; Columbus Sales Pavilion, Columbus, Neb.; Elgin Livestock, Elgin, Neb.; Fullerton Livestock Market, Fullerton, Neb.; Huss Livestock Market LLC, Kearney, Neb.; Sheridan Livestock, Rushville, Neb.; St. Onge Livestock, St. Onge, S.D.; Torrington Livestock Market, Torrington, Wyo.; Verdigre Stockyards; Verdigre, Neb.; Wahoo Livestock Sales, Wahoo, Neb.; and West Point Stockyards, West Point, Neb.

One LMA member who hosted a roll-over benefit auction was directly affected by the floods. Lu Rieken, owner of Fullerton Livestock Market, says there was less than an hour warning before flood waters hit their business. With 4.5 feet of standing water inside the market, damage from water and debris to the market was extensive.

Despite facing damage themselves, Fullerton Livestock Market chose to participate in a roll-over auction to assist relief efforts across the state.

“Our philosophy is that it’s not how far or how hard you fall, it’s how fast you get back up,” Lu Rieken says. “We weren’t the only ones suffering. Everyone was and we wanted them to know we put them first.”

A majority of the funds raised by participating member markets were contributed to the Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund or directly to feed, fencing and hauling needs of individuals. Some markets chose to serve as pick-up sites for producers to access feed, hay and other supplies.

Pete McClymont, Executive Vice President of the Nebraska Cattlemen Association, says the contributions given to the relief fund by LMA member markets were overwhelming.

“When I see Dennis Henrichs, with Beatrice 77 Livestock Sales, enter our office with an envelope full of donations, it just about makes you cry,” McClymont says. “It makes you feel good about mankind to know people are sitting in the seats of these markets bidding, saying ‘Yes, I want to help.’”

According to McClymont, all proceeds received by the Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund will be distributed back to those who completed an application for need. The LMA also contributed $3,000 to each participating member market’s total donations raised.


About the Livestock Marketing Association

The Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), headquartered in Overland Park, Kan., is North America’s leading, national trade association dedicated to serving its members in the open and competitive auction method of marketing livestock. Founded in 1947, LMA has more than 800 member businesses across the U.S. and Canada and remains invested in both the livestock and livestock marketing industries through member support, education programs, policy representation and communication efforts.



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November 2, 2023

Florida auction market bounces back after Category 3 hurricane

As Hurricane Idalia grew closer to Florida’s Big Bend on Monday, August 28 — just two days before it would hit land — many residents were prepping for the storm. But for Alvin “Ab” Townsend and his nephew Rick Greiner, there was a different kind of preparation taking place. Tuesday is sale day at their Townsend Livestock Market, and it was business as usual, despite the uncertainty of what might come. “I started calling some of our buyers,” Greiner says. “And as long as they were going to buy cattle, we were going to have a sale.” So, sell cattle they did. They got through 400 head before they needed to shut down and head home. Early Wednesday morning, the Category 3 hurricane made landfall. Greiner couldn’t get out of his house, but Townsend — along with his wife and sister — were able to drive to the auction market that’s been in the family for four generations. At first, he thought they were at the wrong place. “It didn’t look anything like our place,” Townsend says. “Everything was just on the dirt. The building, our pens, everything was just on the dirt.” Moving On  Before Wednesday had ended, the family had called John Kissee, regional executive officer at Livestock Marketing Association. As longtime members, as well as clients of the association’s Livestock Marketing Insurance Agency, they knew they were covered.  Kissee understood Ab and Rick would want to move quickly but took time to ensure all bases were covered, insurance-wise. Kissee called back the following day, as promised. He told them the tear down and clean up could begin after taking photos to document the damage. By Monday, excavators were scraping the slab where the auction market once stood. Greiner says they had no choice but to move quickly, and they had no intention of missing more than one sale day. They started getting pens up and brainstorming how they’d hold the following week’s auction with less-than-ideal infrastructure.  To be safe, they didn’t advertise. And yet, they still got 400 head. It went well and they doubled their numbers the following week. Of course, there were challenges to selling in such makeshift facilities — like the Tuesday it rained all day and there was no barn to offer cover. But Greiner says they remained grateful through it all. “You don’t have to look very far to see somebody who’s got it worse than what we had,” he says. “We’re just lucky to be back to work and selling good cattle for our good producers.” A Helping Hand Both men are quick to credit the role Livestock Marketing Insurance Agency played in their recovery efforts. “I wouldn’t want to imagine not having Mr. John to call,” Greiner says.  Townsend agrees. “The thing with insurance,” the third-generation auction market operator says, “is you don’t need it until something happens. But then when something happens you better thank the Good Lord you had it. Because what would we have done?” Not only did Kissee and the insurance adjuster make the process a breeze, but Townsend says it never felt like a business transaction. “They’re more than just a company,” he says. “LMIA is a group of people who cares.”