After 76 years, sales still going at Winner LivestockAfter 76 years, the Winner Livestock Auction continues to bring back old faces every Friday. The cattle auction has been serving farmers, ranchers and the town of Winner since 1933. It’s a service Frank Volmer said has become a business place and a meeting place for many.
By: T.J. Jerke, The Daily Republic
WINNER — After 76 years, the Winner Livestock Auction continues to bring back old faces every Friday.
The cattle auction has been serving farmers, ranchers and the town of Winner since 1933. It’s a service Frank Volmer said has become a business place and a meeting place for many.
“We have a lot of small farmers, about a thousand or more, who sell 30 or 40 head of cattle,” said Volmer who took over the auction three years ago. “We have retired farmers and ranchers still coming in every Friday to see what is going on.”
Established by Ted Daughters, the auction has changed hands only three times, and moved once.
Jack Frantz, who used to work as a manager under the Daughters family, bought the auction in 1993. In 2006, Volmer bought it and he continues to bring in cattle and ranchers every week.
The auction site has moved since it was first built on the north end of Main Street in Winner. Today, it resides on the east side of town along Highway 16.
Robert Daughters, a nephew to Ted Daughters, recalled working at the auction before and after it changed sites.
“My main job was to help sort the cattle and for a few years it was heading hogs and loading them out,” Daughters said. “It was a good experience. I enjoyed the people that worked there; everybody got along really well.”
Volmer said it takes about 40 employees to handle the auctions on Fridays, with only four or five working every other day.
Many businesses have seen how the auction brings in people as business is booming when hundreds of farmers and ranchers come to town, said Volmer. He said the auction certainly brings a lot of people to town that come for many other reasons besides the auction.
“The veterinarians and implement dealers have said their sales have gone up,” he said. “People who have worked here for 30 years or more have said it has brought back a lot of old faces as well.”
Winner Economic Development President Tom Kauer agreed and said the auction is a major spoke in the Winner economic wheel.
“It provides an auction for area ranchers and farmers to sell their livestock and secondly, it provides an auction for out of area buyers to come to,” Kauer said. “From an economic standpoint, when somebody is coming to town they are bringing people into Winner that might not come in. It also provides a lot of employment, which is good, too.”
The auction has offered a more non-traditional approach to the sale in the past year. Many ranchers can now take part in the auction over the internet. With a Web site called cattleusa.com, ranchers can see what kinds of cattle are being sold and how much they are being sold for.
“We have sold a few cattle on it but mainly we get a lot of viewers,” Volmer said. “Somebody that can’t make it they can see what the market is and tune in.”
Today, Volmer said the auction provides special sales every Friday throughout the summer and winter months. Special bull and horse sales can be seen at the livestock auction every now and then as well, he said.