Black Hills Buffalo Classic Show and Sale to offer several new additions |

Black Hills Buffalo Classic Show and Sale to offer several new additions

The Dakota Territory Buffalo Association (DTBA) has been planning for their 2009 show and sale events and are announcing several new additions to the lineup this year. The events begin on Friday, Feb. 6 and conclude on Sunday, Feb. 8 with the live animal auctions.

The Black Hills Buffalo Classic (BHBC) Show and Sale will offer the following live animal classes: single heifer and bull calves; Top Ten heifer calves (pens of 10) and Top Five bull calves (pens of 5); single yearling bulls and heifers and single two year old bred heifers. The Reality Based Carcass Class is also on tap with classes for both bulls and heifers.

Through the efforts of a group of individuals who got together at last year’s conference, this year’s offering includes the new DTBA Young Guns Bull Challenge. This class is structured similarly to a futurity class, with bull calves being consigned by producers, all the calves go to a host ranch for one year and are then brought back to the BHBC as yearling bulls, complete with data sheets on their performance throughout the year. This will be an additional yearling bull class at the 2009 show. There were 18 entries in the class that were consigned last February and plans are being made for a whole new group of calves to come to the show this year and begin their challenge at a host ranch this February.

There is also a new consignment auction featuring calves – the Premier Calf Auction. These animals will not be judged, but merely sold immediately after the show animal auction. The thought is to have producers bring in a representative sample of their calf crop and put it in front of as many buyers as possible. There are many buffalo ranchers in the area who produce an excellent buffalo, but who are not interested in show and sale. This auction is for them.

There are several unique aspects of this auction. First, it is a calf-only sale. Calves are easier to handle at auction. Calves are the most traded class of buffalo. Calves are a great indication of the quality of the rest of the animals a consignor wishes to sell. There is less stress on calves for loading, sorting and selling. Secondly, there is a limit on how many can be consigned. The association is not looking for sheer numbers of animals. The intent is to put together buyers and sellers. It is hard for buyers to know all the animals and all the buffalo ranchers. It is hard for producers to know who all the buyers are in the area. It is the association’s idea that buyers can see what a producer has and if that producer has more animals at home, they can establish value. The DTBA sale committee also felt that the auction method is a superior way to establish value.

Plans are also underway for the annual conference that is held in conjunction with the show and sale. The theme of this year’s conference will be a living history, featuring families that have been in the buffalo industry in this region for many years and even decades. These families will share the stories of how their ranches and businesses got started in the buffalo business and give attendees a glimpse of how it was to raise buffalo in the early days. While the group is still lining up participants, some of the confirmed speakers include Jim Butler of Faith, SD; John Flocchini of Gillette, WY; Darrel Hoar of Piedmont, SD; Duane Lammers of Rapid City, SD; Ralph Mahoney of Fulton, SD; representatives of the Triple U Ranch of Ft. Pierre, SD and hopefully the list will grow by conference time. This will truly be a unique, once- in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear the history of the area’s buffalo industry from many of the pioneers who paved the way for today’s producers.

Additionally, the group will hear animal health updates from South Dakota State Veterinarian Dr. Sam Holland, as well as glean some information on marketing using the auction method, with auctioneer Ron Bradeen from Custer, SD, one of the industries leading buffalo auctioneers.

Dates for the 2009 DTBA Winter Conference are Feb. 6 and 7. The conference will be held at the Ramkota Hotel in Rapid City. The Black Hills Buffalo Classic Sale and Premier Calf Auction will be held at the Pennington County Events Center in Rapid City on Sunday, Feb. 8 beginning at 10 a.m. Consignment information is available on the association website at or by calling 605-923-6383.

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