Greeley Producers will celebrate 50th anniversary during today’s sale
September 27, 2011
Ways of doing things have changed over the years, that’s for sure, Brad Jones explained.
When Producers Livestock Marketing Association established a location in Greeley back in 1961, the sales and marketing of livestock commodities certainly wasn’t done by video, as the majority of which is done now.
Fifty years ago, the railway that neighbors the sale barn on Highway 85 just north of downtown Greeley – known simply in the area as “Greeley Producers” – was a hotbed of activity, as farmers and ranchers from the region used the line to haul in their livestock, and the then-abundance of locally owned feeding operations flocked to the barn to make their purchases.
And the weekly live sales and auctions that take place in the building today have tilted focus toward dairy operations, as that industry has seen growth in the region – another difference from years past.
But while the times have changed, Jones, the general manager at Greeley Producers, will tell you that at least one aspect of the business remains that same.
“It’s still all about the people,” said Jones, who has worked at the business for 12 years. “And there are a lot of great people who have supported us over the years.”
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It’s those people who will be celebrated Tuesday when Greeley Producers has its special 50th Anniversary Feeder Sale, Jones noted.
In addition to the sale, the event will feature a barbecue – and a time for reminiscing.
“It’s been a great pleasure of mine with this job to get to know all the farmers and ranchers that do business with us, and to get to know their families,” Jones said. “It’s always great to visit with those families, and I’m hoping that’s what Tuesday’s sale turns into – a time for everyone to get together and visit.
“We’ll have a bunch of old pictures up on the walls … it should be a good time.”
Eldon Rathburn plans to be there Tuesday.
Now in his mid-80s, he hasn’t missed many sales – if any – at Greeley Producers since it began operations 50 years ago.
“I couldn’t have done it without them over the years,” Rathburn said of the local sale barn’s contributions to his own farming operations. “They’ve been great people.”
Producers Livestock Marketing Association is a co-op owned by its members that was established in 1935, with locations in Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Oregon and California.
The operation that’s currently run in Greeley originally operated in the Denver Stockyard, said Russell Moss, who served as general manager of Greeley Producers for 25 years, prior to Jones’ tenure.
Moss’ father and two uncles also worked for Greeley Producers, and like Jones, Moss said it has been all of the people that have made Greeley Producers what it is – and always has been – while the industry continually evolves.
“It’s certainly a business that has seen its share of changes over the years … and it will be interesting to see where the industry goes in the future,” Moss said. “For now though, I’ll just be looking forward to Tuesday.”