Matney father and son take over Buffalo Livestock Auction from Jay Godley
July 26, 2017
There are new owners in the house at the Buffalo Livestock Auction, in Buffalo Wyo. On Monday, July 17, Gregg Matney and his son, Danny, took over the reins from Jay Godley, the original mastermind and builder of the auction arena that still values the age-old signature handshake.
"It has been a great ride for me this past 21 years, working with and selling livestock for such a fantastic group of people in our marketing area. I thank all of our consignors and buyers for their support and ask you to give the new owners the same commitment and dedication you have shown me over the years," Godley shared.
"It was this month, 21 years ago, in 1996 that Buffalo Livestock Auction started building the new sale facility and held the first sale in November of that year. After 21 years of owning and operating Buffalo Livestock Auction, I have reached an age where I need to slow down a little," he said.
Located at the base of the Big Horn Mountains, close to I-25 and I-90, the successful auction arena is conveniently located for livestock producers in the area. Since opening in November of 1996, it has become a recognized auction arena throughout north central Wyoming and southern Montana.
“It was this month, 21 years ago, in 1996 that Buffalo Livestock Auction started building the new sale facility and held the first sale in November of that year. After 21 years of owning and operating Buffalo Livestock Auction, I have reached an age where I need to slow down a little.” Jay Godley, former owner of Buffalo Livestock Auction
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Godley, a Buffalo resident, built the auction up to a 2,000 head capacity facility. The well-designed yard and sorting alley allow livestock to move easily and quietly into the 16 foot by 34 foot, 50,000 pound ring scale, reducing stress and shrink. The sale arena seats over 200 people.
Sales are held on Wednesdays throughout the year, except July and August, when sales are run every two weeks. The Matneys plan to continue with this same schedule.
"Gregg is a long time cattlemen, with a ranch and successful livestock trucking company in Niobrara County. Gregg and his son Danny will take over the day to day operation of Buffalo Livestock Association. The Matneys will be implementing some new ideas and thoughts on how to improve and grow Buffalo Livestock Association. They intend to allocate a lot of time and effort to make this happen," Godley said in a statement.
But Gregg said there wouldn't be any drastic changes any time soon, and most of the staff is continuing on with them. Both the past and present owner agree that production sales at the auction have received a high priority, and that will not change with the new owners.
"A high-quality livestock market and a solid commitment to both the sellers and buyers will not change," Godley said.
"We plan to keep it going like it is," Gregg confirmed, with just a few additions. "We are going to strive to carry on the business Jay has built over the years."
While it's business as usual on the whole, there are some special sales in the works, including the first horse sale to be held Sept. 16, and a yearling special sale planned for Sept. 6. Receiving stations in outlying areas are also on the table for discussion.
The father son team is looking forward to their new business venture.
"I wanted to do something my family could be part of," Gregg added, explaining that his son would be involved in running the salebarn.
But Godley is far from sitting out on the next chapter of the Buffalo Livestock Auction. He will continue as the auctioneer.
"I will be staying on as the auctioneer and filling whatever role needs to be done as well as helping Gregg and Danny in the transition," he said.
Matney, also an auctioneer, is planning to auction the first animal on July 26, with a few introductions, but then Godley will keep the mic, at least in the arena.
"You will still be able to market your livestock where a handshake still means something," he added.
For more information, Gregg can be reached at 307-620-1871 and Danny at 307-620-1913