The Livestock Exchange awarded 2021 BQA Marketer Award
The Livestock Exchange, LLC (LELLC) is a regional livestock auction market located in Brush, Colo., specializing in cattle marketing. Although LELLC doesn’t own the cattle it’s selling, the team still treats them like they were their own.
The town of Brush was established because of the cattle drives coming into town. Brush was built on cattle and according to Robin Varelman, owner of LELLC, she’s going to keep it that way.
“I took it upon my calling to fix, repair and mend the fences to bring cattle buyers and sellers back to the community,” Varelman said. “Brush was built on cattle, and as long as I’m living, I plan to see that it continues that way.”
LELLC has more than 50 years of rich tradition in marketing cattle, having been in operation since 1969. In 2014, Varelman purchased the LELLC, intending to provide the best customer experience and high-quality service for all livestock marketing needs. Varelman helped change the facility’s culture by enhancing its commitment to employees, buyers and sellers, and the cattle that are traded through its doors.
At LELLC, it’s cattlemen taking care of cattlemen. The team provides opportunities for their clients to benefit from programs that will offer additional premiums for their cattle. One such commitment has been their dedication to BQA.
“BQA is a full spectrum from beginning to end — it’s a necessity,” Varelman said. “We’re here to make the experience for the cattle as pleasant as possible.”
LELLC is the only Colorado auction market to request an in-person BQA training to certify every staff member, from the owner to secretarial staff to field representatives. In addition to hosting BQA training for their team, LELLC hosts trainings for their clients and community members and hosted the first in-person BQA Transportation certification events in Colorado.
Both sellers and buyers benefit from a livestock auction market that professionally manages cattle. The team at LELLC believes in not only understanding the details of BQA as the beef industry’s foundational management program but embodying it, which helps to bring a level of value and comfort to both buyers and sellers.
“Our cattle buyers want BQA certified cattle, and we work with each individual to try and best fit their needs and the needs of their operation,” says Paul Chard with Cattlemen’s Resource Inc. “When we sell their cattle through a sale barn, they have the best opportunity to perform well.”
LELLC is also unique in that it is in a region of Colorado with a booming dairy industry, and consequently, it markets much of Colorado’s cull dairy cow population. Realizing that this segment of the beef industry is typically at higher risk of being compromised, whether from a health or mobility perspective, LELLC built a sound environment to promote and execute high-quality cull cow sales. This includes strict veterinary oversight when marketing cull cows and bulls, generating strong relationships with local dairies to communicate expectations for cow quality, as well as identify trends in animals coming through the sale to adjust management at the dairy.
For Varelman, her first priority is education and continuous improvement. “I’m not going to stop educating people. I love the industry, I love cattle, and there are no better people in the world than farmers and ranchers,” she said. “I believe that we have to continue to be strong in our values and keep educating people on such a wonderful protein — beef.”
The BQA Marketer Award is funded in part by the Beef Checkoff with additional support from Cargill. For more information on The Livestock Exchange, LLC and other 2021 BQA Award winners, visit: http://www.bqa.org/about/bqa-awards.
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