Lynn Weishaar: A great cattleman and auctioneer
January 19, 2012
Seth Weishaar grew up watching his dad auctioneer. The roll of Lynn Weishaar’s fast-moving tongue as he sells cattle is one to see; his dynamic banter with the crowd, uncompromising commitment to his customers and his love of the livestock industry are the traits that make Weishaar a standout in the field.
Weishaar conducts sales every week at the Philip Livestock Auction Market and Belle Fourche Livestock Auction Exchange, and is well-known and -loved by all who have befriended him and worked with him in the field.
“My dad works hard; there’s no doubt about it,” says Seth Weishaar, who is an auctioneer himself, inspired by his dad’s career and working alongside him at the auction barn. “It’s amazing how he is able to maintain our cattle ranch and have his auctioneering career. He gets up early to feed calves and then heads to a sale. My parents work well together and spend a lot of time outside with the cattle. He has the best of both worlds – a great career auctioneering and raising cattle – and I’m proud of him.”
Of his career, the customer always come first; a quality that endears him to those selling livestock through his barns.
“He’s really customer-oriented, and he has a way of bringing commercial and purebred cattlemen together,” Seth says. “He has worked out of salebarns his entire career. At one time, he did 360 sales a year. His work ethic really sets him apart. He understands the values of people and of cattle. One day, he is selling a cull cow, the next he’s at a private-treaty sale selling a bull for $200,000. He has developed a lot of relationships in agriculture.”
Seth credits his career to his early beginnings in the salebarn.
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“I grew up around the salebarns, and Dad started me out working the ring,” he recalls. “Watching him auctioneer was a huge influence, and he got me my first job auctioneering. When Dad couldn’t make a sale, he would pass the opportunity on to me. I would go in his place and sell the cattle. That’s how I got started. Really, he has always been an auctioneer at heart. He has really worked hard for the consignors, no matter what the sale offering is. He is driven to help the cattlemen.”
The cattle business is a top priority for Weishaar, but working with friends and family is the best part for him. His 43-year marriage to wife, Connie, has blossomed into a full partnership, where the couple raises commercial cattle outside of Reva, SD. The pair also maintains a team of horses, and they love to feed the cattle with them whenever they have the time.
“We got into the cattle business when we first got married, and he feels very lucky to have been able to follow his dreams and work in the two businesses that are his passion – ranching and the auction business,” Connie says. “While he loves going to sales, he also enjoys getting away from it all and taking care of his cows. Of course, family is a top priority, and he is crazy about our five grandchildren.”
Weishaar is a dynamic individual who leaves a mark on those who meet him.
“He is very energetic and full of passion; he likes to get things done,” Connie says of her husband. “He is very honest and hard working. He puts his customers first. It’s their annual income, so he tries to do the best that he can for them. He’s been working at salebarns his whole life.”
Recognized as the 2004 Agri-Business Person of the Year at the Black Hills Stock Show (BHSS), Weishaar has enjoyed a successful career, having been in the business for more than 40 years. Weishaar attended Western College of Auctioneering in Billings, MT, and later attended North Dakota State University in Fargo, where he participated in college rodeo and judging teams. At the American Royal Horse Judging Contest he delivered the highest scoring set of reasons ever given, a testament to his fast-talking, auctioneering skills. His first job out of college was at Lemmon Livestock, and he leased some ground nearby to raise his cattle.
Another component of his career has been announcing at rodeos for Byrne Rodeo Co. in Montana. For his efforts, he has received the Northwest Ranch Cowboys Association’s Amateur Announcer of the Year award several years in a row. In addition to his Faith, Philip and Belle Fourche weekly sales, Weishaar also sells registered horses and registered bulls across the U.S. and Canada.
Long-time friend and cattle buyer, Bob Mackey of Belle Fourche, SD, offered a testimony on Weishaar and his career.
“I’ve known Lynn for 40 years,” Mackey recalls. “He’s outstanding at everything he does. His business is one of the best. He’s a dear friend with a great sense of humor. And, he is a fine guy who values family. He knows the business inside and out. We work together, him as an auctioneer and me as a cattle buyer. He knows the value of cattle. He has a prime personality, and people like him so well. There isn’t a finer auctioneer than Lynn, and I have sat in on a lot of sales. I’m not just saying that either because he is my friend; Lynn is one of the best out there.”
Gary Vance, owner of Faith Livestock, agrees with Mackey and sang Weishaar’s praises.
“I have worked with Lynn since the early 1970s, and he has a tremendous work ethic,” Vance says. “He does his job well; he has worked really hard at auctioneering and ranching. His dedication to his customers is unbelievable. I’ve always admired him for his commitment to the sale. When he starts the sale, he is 110 percent on board with his customers – that’s his major strong point. He has contributed so much to the beef industry and his dedication to the people that he works for is unmatched.”
Looking back over the years, Vance has a hard time picking one favorite memory, but he remembers well when Weishaar first started working at the barn.
“I have so many fond memories of working with Lynn,” he says. “He was young when he first started working here under my dad. Lynn had a tremendous amount of respect for my dad, Lawrence, and he still talks about some of the conversations they used to have at the salebarn. I admire the respect Lynn has for that generation of folks who gave him the opportunity to do what he is doing.”
Vance says many young auctioneers across the country try to emulate Weishaar and rise to the quality that he exhibits at the salebarn.
“We have three young auctioneers here, including his son, Seth, and they all try to pattern themselves after Lynn and be as good as he is,” Vance says. “Of course, they all have their own style, but they do well following his lead. He’s always on the move and always on a mission. He has accomplished a great deal to the beef industry. He is a master at selling livestock through the auction markets. Truly, a master at the trade.”
Weishaar has certainly made a lasting impact on the livestock industry – both in the auction arena and in the cattle business. His career is an inspiration to many, and his commitment to agriculture is one to be admired.