From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Nevada Sale Barn

Still in use, thanks to LMA



The sale barn in Nevada*, Missouri, sits on nine acres on the east side of town, just a block off Highway 54. I took this picture of it when I was traveling with my sister last month.

I was curious about this little sale barn, so I searched online and found photos and a description of the property in the archives of a real estate company. It appeared to be vacant at the time the photos were taken. The floor plan of the barn is exactly what I would have guessed it to be. Every sale barn I've ever visited in the American Midwest has a similar layout. 

There's a small sale arena enclosed by a high fence. The arena is surrounded on three sides by stadium-style seats for buyers and onlookers. On the opposite side of the arena, facing the seats, there are two gates: one to bring livestock into the arena, and the other to take livestock out. Between the two gates, the auctioneers face the audience from a raised box.

I don't think any auctions are held in the Nevada sale barn anymore, but the yards are still used for livestock marketing.  The property is now owned by Mo-Kan Livestock Market Inc. of Butler, Missouri (a town about 30 miles north of Nevada.)  It is a receiving station for Mo-Kan, and cattle are accepted on Wednesdays from 10 AM to 6 PM. I read on the Mo-Kan website that Mo-Kan transports cattle from the station to their Thursday auction in Butler for a fee of $3/head.

Mo-Kan streams their cattle auctions and accepts bids over the internet. Of course, they also take bids from buyers who attend the sale in person, but the internet helps them offer the livestock to a wider market. The internet auctions are facilitated by LMA Auctions, an arm of the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA).

LMA has about 800 members like Mo-Kan, across the United States and Canada. The mission of LMA is stated on the homepage of the website: "We are committed to the support and protection of the local livestock auction markets. Auctions are a vital part of the livestock industry, serving producers and assuring a fair, competitive price through the auction method of selling."

If it weren't for LMA and internet auctions, the Nevada sale barn might be just another abandoned building.
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* The people of Nevada, MO, pronounce their town's name with a "long a;" that is, the second syllable rhymes with "way."

5 comments:

Fred said...

Cattle Auctions: Interesting to me, especially the taking bids over the Internet.
My mind tends to remember that the Basset Sales Barn was used for other exhibits.
Think a cousin was in a Boxing event at the Sales Barn, probably
early 1940s.

gakepler@hotmail.com said...

Thank you for the nice article about the sale barn. As a youngster, my father and uncles used to attend sales at his site and the one downtown (a block north of the courthouse square) and buy and sell hogs and cattle. Both had cafe's and there were no "no smoking" sections. My dad moved here from Bassett; some of your readers will remember his brother, Dana Kepler who had the feed store.? (I was only there once and was about four years of age so not sure of the details, I just remember the wooden floors and that wonderful aroma of the building.
I do not understand the explanation of how we pronounce the name of our town. Bike is pronounced with a long "i" and bake is a long "a" followed by another noun. I tell the telemarketers, "It's spelled like the state, we just pronounce it correctly."
Greg Kepler

Genevieve Netz said...

Greg, I remember how the sale barns always used to be full of cigarette and cigar smoke. The air was hazy with it. I think a lot of the barns are non-smoking these days, or at least have a non-smoking section. I do remember a feed store that was east of Marcellus Chevrolet on the north side of the block, right next to the alley. It was always full of cats, and you're right about the wonderful smell of the feed. I think it was the molasses that smelled so good.

Genevieve Netz said...

Fred, I can imagine that the salebarn would be a very good place to hold a boxing match. The spectators would have a much closer view of the action than they would in a school gym.

gjjjsnead said...

As of October 2013 the Nevada Salebarn reopened under the new ownership of Mo-Kan Livestock. The barn now has a weekly cattle sale every Monday and horse, sheep & goat sale the 2nd and 4th Wednesday's of each month. Customers can still drop off cattle there to be transported to Mo-Kan Livestock at Butler, MO. Anyone looking for additional information can call, 816-289-3011, Jim Hertzog is one of the owners.

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