Any given Tuesday is a reason to celebrate in Lewistown. Traffic is heavier. Sales increase at shops and restaurants. The community rolls out the welcome mat for its cherished guests—cattle and cattlemen of every breed. On any given Tuesday, the Lewistown Livestock Auction is on.

“This is a weekly event that brings people to town,” says Kyle Shobe, owner of Lewistown Livestock Auction Yard. “Car dealerships, ranch stores, fuel stations—they all know what day sale day is.”

Shobe and his wife, Jodie, bought the livestock yard in September 2020. For fifteen years, Kyle had worked for the previous owners, and he’d been an auctioneer long before that.

“I grew up in the auction business,” he explains. “My dad, Jayson, started the family auction company in the mid-80s. It’s what I’ve always known. After college, I went into partnership with my dad and started working [the livestock yard] because of my interest in selling cattle.”

Shobe started as day help and worked his way up over time. After about a decade of experience and developing contacts, he traveled a circuit, auctioning livestock at production sales and other markets across a five-state region.

“Basically, we are the agent between transactions. A livestock auction puts buyers together to establish an open, competitive market,” Shobe explains. “It’s amazing the amount of money that changes hands week to week.”

When the opportunity arose to take ownership of his hometown auction yard, Shobe saw it as more than just a business venture; it was a commitment to his community.

“A study was done two years ago on the economic impact of a livestock auction to its local community. A market handling fifty thousand head of cattle contributes over one million dollars annually,” Shobe explains. “Central Montana is known for tremendous cattle. Without a market here, those dollars would go to Great Falls or Billings.”

Shobe remarks that on a recent Monday, he arrived at the livestock yard to find six cattle trailers unhitched along the fence.
“That’s at least six people somewhere around town spending money,” says Shobe.

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He notes that it isn’t just cow calf producers that come to the weekly auction. Everything from calves to bulls to slaughter cows comes through the yard—beef in just about any stage of production. Additionally, the general public is invited to attend.

“We enjoy having business people come out for a better understanding of what we do. This serves an important role in the local economy, and it’s a look at how the hamburger gets to the grocery store,” Shobe explains.

Whether you’re a cattle producer, a feedlot owner, or simply a proud Montanan, you’re invited to experience the thrill of the Lewistown Livestock Auction. Plan your trip to central Montana, any given Tuesday.

The Lewistown Livestock Auction Yard is located at 83 Stockyards Lane. For more information, visit lewistownlivestock.com or call (406) 535-3535.

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