Sunday, February 19, 2012

Oh Hey there!

Well, I think I've recovered from sale week... almost! I'll tell ya, I know it normally is exhausting but this being pregnant AND having sale week is for the birds.  I need to plan this better next time :)

We had an amazing sale and a great turn out.  All the bulls showed up which is nice and the ladies were primped and ready to go hours before showtime.

We open the barn up the night before for anyone who gets in town early and wants a glimpse of the cattle before everyone else.  This year we held a burger dinner but seeing how it was literally 10 degrees, not too many people braved the weather. 

Then it was showtime. Saturday morning started for some around 4am to get all the cattle fed, moved into position, sorted and penned so all the buyers could do their walkabouts before the auction started. 

A little chili made by Mrs. Hoag Sr to get everyone warmed up and in the arena and then the auctioneers get going! Hoag, Cowboy John and I are always in the back moving the cattle from pen to pen, resorting to make sure they go in sale order and that everyone is coming out of the sale ring and filtering to the right place.  We're basically the paddling feet beneath the duck... or something.  (p.s. big thanks to Brittanie for taking all the pics during the sale!)

Hoag Sr. gives the intros and off they go. Lot 1 in the ring, Tommy Barnes, our auctioneer is great at getting all the details of each head in while talking a million miles an hour.  Buyer's bids are being thrown out, caught by our three amazing ring men; Guy Peverly of High Plains Journal, Brett Spader of The Stock Exchange and Tim Lackey of Missouri Beef Cattleman.  They are the true magic of the auction and what keeps everything running.  Before the bidding is even done, lot 1 is out the door and Lot 2 is loaded in the chute to go in next.  All the while, Andrew Sylvester of the Kansas Stockman is on the phone taking bids from the Sale Day Live Bids from people who couldn't make it in.  There is definitely a huge amount of energy in the air and the cattle all feel it. 

And then it's over as quickly as it began. Well actually, its over a lot quicker than all the preparations.  But the end is only the beginning.  THEN, all the buyers load up in their trucks, get in line and then we have to Re-sort through all the cattle to find the individual heads that each person bought.  This is why having them filter into certain areas after their done in the ring is so important.  I usually run about three trucks ahead to get all the paperwork sorted so the guys can have the cattle in the alley and waiting. 

Another bowl of chili.  And then we're off to sort, feed, water and bed all the cattle that will be getting picked up throughout the week.  We usually end up loading cattle out for buyers for at least a week or two after the sale.

And that's it! 8 Months until the fall heifer sale which will just be our females for the association.  I'll look forward to our predictable and wonderful fall weather.

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