MT Board of Livestock Holds Hearing on New Livestock Market


The Montana Department of Livestock held a public hearing this week in Park City to receive testimony and comment on Robbie Cattle Company’s request for a livestock market day permit.

The hearing was held in the Park City high school and was standing room only as Scott Robbie of Robbie Cattle Company and Montana Cattle ConneXion presented their request in front of the Board of Livestock. The proposal was met with pretty equal amounts of support and opposition from the public.

Scott Robbie has worked with producers all over the region and last fall Robbie Cattle Company started purchasing calves to bring in to their facility at Park City, sort, and sell on their online timed auction Montana Cattle ConneXion. They’ve expanded the online sales this year, having about one per month.

The Robbie family submitted this request to better serve their customers, and are targeting small and mid-sized cattle operations. The permit will allow cattle to be brand inspected upon arrival to their yard. Then they would be weighed and sorted into like-kind pens and sold on the timed video sale the following day.

Scott and his son Boe say they’re trying to provide added value to smaller producers to give them the selling power of a load lot and more focus than they might get at the traditional livestock markets.

A couple small producers came forward to speak in support as well as ranchers who’ve worked with the Robbies over the years.

However, the Association of Livestock Markets came forward in opposition of the request. Livestock Auction market owners like Joe Goggins said the existing markets do a fantastic job of marketing cattle, especially in the heat of the fall run, and small producers are a major part of their business.

One of the concerns was that this could set a precedent for livestock markets popping up across the state. If new markets couldn’t financially survive, they worry that the integrity of the state’s auction markets could be called in to question.

It was quite the debate the listen to, with both sides making some valid points. The Board of Livestock must provide a written decision which they indicated may be available at their next meeting on October 22nd.



Northern Ag Network

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John Kramer

Sounds like a good idea. Order buyers and stockyard owners have been screwing the little guys for years.

Dan Simpson

After no saleing a load of lambs at pays I have learned that USDA only reports the top selling 80 %. This discourages buyers from coming to the market and misleads the actual value of all livestock sold. I have seen that we need to limit the number of orders that a buyer can take to the ring. It seems like the system can change and it’s stays the same the big corporations always get a free license to screw the small producer. It’s time to get rid of the board of livestock and the USDA.

Kraig Bare

I fail to see how limiting buyers will help anyone. Livestock auctions provide a service to all producers big or small. Some producers always think they are getting screwed by someone when in reality they are not producing the quality of livestock that buyers need.

Dan Simpson

Kraig I in no way advocated the need to limit buyers. The current circus of having three clowns with all the orders of potential buyer in their pockets does in fact limit buyers. Failing to accurately report all sales in a market area limits potential buyers by not letting potential buyers know what animals at what prices are available.
Producers need to know where the best demand is for the animals they have.
The Robbie Cattle Company’s request for a livestock market day permit should not need approval from anyone, this is America with a free market economy not where the government can be used to control competition. Those that want the government to decide when where and who can have a market permit should take there communist ideas to a communist nation.

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