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