Business as Usual; Mitchell Livestock Changes Hands
Don Stang and Marion Rus recently announced the sale of Mitchell Livestock to new owners Jarrid and Patrice Herrmann, Cherokee, Oklahoma. Rus and Stang have turned over the reins of the sale barn after thirteen years of ownership.
“We are thankful for all of our customers’ support over the past thirteen years, both the buyers and the sellers,” Rus said.
Folks showed up for the first sale under new ownership; an expected 4,500 head of cattle grew to a sale of over 5,600 that first week. Herrmann is excited to get to know the livestock producers in the area, and both Rus and Stang plan to stay around for the first year to help with the transition process.
“It’s business as usual,” said Preston Burma, a long-time field man for the barn. “The change is just in ownership; all of the people working here are still going to be working here and we will be going on with sales as usual.”
Jarrid and Patrice Herrmann, along with partners Brad and Abby Lewis, have owned the Cherokee Sales Company barn since 2017. They were excited for the opportunity to purchase Mitchell Livestock after spending some time searching for the right livestock market in the northern plains to add to their business ventures in Oklahoma. Herrmann is excited about the opportunities that owning both livestock markets will bring to customers and livestock producers both north and south.
For now, Herrmann is doing a lot of driving, making the 550 mile trip every week to be at the sale in Mitchell each Thursday. He is making an effort to meet producers and build connections with his new customer base in South Dakota and the surrounding area.
“It’s fun,” he said. “I am eager to get out in the country and meet people. We want to build their confidence in us as new owners. We don’t have any plans to make big changes in the way things work at Mitchell Livestock.”
Herrmann grew up in western Kansas with a background in production agriculture and family roots in the feedyard business.
“My grandpa started Ford County Feedyard and was instrumental in the beef packing industry in Dodge City,” he said. “The Herrmanns were highly involved in the beef packing and feedyard industry in western Kansas and managed various ranches and farmland in western Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico.”
Sadly, Jarrid’s father passed away in 2001 in a plane accident. After getting an Agriculture Engineering degree from Kansas State University, Jarrid worked for several years with a firm based in Bismarck, North Dakota. Patrice Herrmann also attended Kansas State and graduated with a degree in Ag Business.
Although he enjoyed his job, Jarrid found himself missing the day to day aspects of being involved in production agriculture.
“I decided to go back home,” he said. I really missed production ag, and missed the marketing aspects of the feedyard. I leased a ranch and got back into the feedyard industry, and found that I really loved the business.”
Jarrid had an opportunity to broaden and sharpen his business skills after the 2017 purchase of Cherokee Sales Company.
“We have been able to grow that business from marketing 95,000 head per year when we first bought it to over 130,000 head,” Jarrid said. “I really love the business, and we have constantly been asking ourselves how we can best de-risk the business, improve our margins and make the right connections to continue to grow and improve the business.”
Herrmann felt that adding a second barn a little further north would be a good step toward achieving those goals, so he had been looking at various livestock auction barns as they came up for sale in the Nebraska and South Dakota area.
“We wanted a northern barn for several reasons,” he said. “The quality of the cattle in the northern states was one of our primary reasons for looking in this area. There are also more independent farmer/feeders with their own corn and high quality feed base. We also have connections with southern producers who run a lot of cattle on wheat in the fall.”
When a friend mentioned that Mitchell Livestock was available, Herrmann made a few phone calls and within two weeks he had signed a purchase agreement with Don Stang and Marion Russ.
Herrmann is ready—quite literally—to go the extra mile to build relationships with the livestock producers, feeders and cattle buyers who buy and sell cattle in Mitchell.
“The most important thing for me is to take care of my customers,” he said. “Bringing these two barns together is going to bring opportunities on both ends. First and foremost it is very important to me to take care of people—our customers, whether they are small or large producers, our employees and communities.”
Preston Burma sees a bright future with Jarrid Herrmann at the helm of Mitchell Livestock.
“Marion and Don have been good to work for,” he said. “I have really enjoyed working with them. They are both very hands on in the business, communicate well and we have sold a lot of cattle in the last thirteen years. It will be good to have some young blood in the business. Jarrid is also very hands on and involved and talks to us often. Jarrid and Patrice are a good young couple and so far local support has been strong for them.”
Jarrid is grateful for his roots in agriculture, and for everyone who is a part of the teams that keep Mitchell Livestock and Cherokee Sales Company running smoothly while he is running back and forth between South Dakota and Oklahoma.
“I couldn’t do this without all of the people who support us,” he said. “From our customers, to our partners, our bankers, all of the buyers and sellers, and our employees who work their tails off to keep things running—and everyone’s wives and significant others—everyone plays a part and I am thankful for all of the help and support. I wouldn’t be here without my grandpa and the Herrmanns. They have paved the path for me to do what I’m doing today. I am especially thankful for my wife and her help and support in the business, and for our extended family’s support as we make this transition. I am excited for the opportunity to be in the Mitchell area, and we are looking for opportunities to have the sale barn be a place to bring people together to share knowledge and build community.”
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