Sioux Falls Stockyards holds final cattle sale
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP)--The Sioux Falls Stockyards held its final cattle sale June 25 after 92 years of business.
The stockyards has ending cattle auctions in part because of its inability to comply with city wastewater rules. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association said the growth of suburbs around yards and new ways of marketing cattle, such as video sales, also have hurt stockyards.
The Sioux Falls Stockyards opened in 1917 and grew to become a focal point for livestock in the Upper Midwest. The June 25 auction attracted a standing-room-only crowd of 150 at the stockyards' Cattle Arena.
In Sioux Falls, 210,620 head of cattle went through the barn in 2004, said manager Paul Scott said. By last year, the number declined to 90,131, he said.
Scott Anderson, 51, of Sioux Falls, remembered sorting cattle there with his father when he was 5. Later, he got a job there and made it a career. His father, Bill Anderson, 77, also attended the June 25 final sale. His father began working at the stockyards in 1927.
"That gives us a combined life history of 82 years at the stockyards,'' Anderson said.
Jim Woster, 68, also of Sioux Falls, began working at the stockyards in 1962 and stayed there for four decades. He went to the stockyards on a recent quiet Sunday just to reflect.
"If you ask me why I went down there on Sunday, I couldn't even tell you,'' he said. "But for 40 years, that's what I did. It was a way of life.''
Shane Ellis, a livestock economist at Iowa State University, said Sioux Falls and some other cities found that the livestock auctions now are surrounded by growth.
"It used to be these stockyards were on the edge of town, and as these towns have grown, all the sudden it's smack in the middle of town,'' Ellis said.
Though cattle sales have ended, smaller sales of hogs, sheep and goats will continue, Scott has said.
The 35-acre Sioux Falls property is for sale, listed at $3.5 million.