More From The Cattle Auction

Yesterday I shared the serious side of a cattle auction, but today, I want to share the lighter side. There’s a lot more going on than just the sale of cattle. For one thing, it’s a great place to people watch.

This cowboy seemed to have dropped in from another century.

He looked all tough and serious…until he laughed.

These 2 ladies seemed to have gotten lost on their way to the grocery store.

“I wonder where the produce department is Eunice.”

“I don’t know, but the beef certainly looks fresh.”


This lady was eating what appeared to be a homemade slice of lemon meringue pie. There’s a grill just down the hall from the arena. Later, she had another slice. Must have been really good.

This family group looked about as bored as I’ve ever seen.

Their boredom must have been contagious cause everyone around them caught it.

I notice people’s hands. You can tell a farmer/rancher just by looking at their hands. They tell the story.

At one point we noticed a cat had entered the arena. It didn’t seem to belong to anyone, but looked like it felt right at home.

We pointed it out to our neighbor. He said, “oh him, he’s been here for as long as I’ve been coming here.” I watched as it wandered around the arena making friends.

It was looking for a little attention.

But it was also working the crowd for food. I noticed at least 2 people giving it a tidbit or two from their plates.

Cattle auctions are a fun place to spend an afternoon. Have you ever been to a livestock auction?


——–>  UP NEXT: Prairie moonrise.

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Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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31 Responses

  1. Lisa says:

    I loved this post – it made me smile. Not sure why, but it did. Actually, when I read this:
    “I wonder where the produce department is Eunice.”

    “I don’t know, but the beef certainly looks fresh
    . . . .I laughed out loud!!

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Lisa,
      Those ladies stayed for quite a while, but I didn’t get the impression they were there to buy or sell. I think they were just hanging out.

  2. Farmer says:

    Love this post!!!
    looks just like the cattle auctions here.

  3. Michaele says:

    Great photos. You really captured the personalities there. I love people photos but it is so hard to get them discretely, especially with the size the DSLR cameras. Seems if even the subject didn’t see the camera, someone else in the crowd did. What’s your secret?

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Michaele,
      I kind of hid behind Harland. I had my camera on my lap most of the time, and I would raise it up take a few quick shots, and then put it back in my lap. And I only took shots when the auctioneer was rambling. People were more distracted then. I was spotted by a few people, but not as much as I had expected.

  4. Alica says:

    You have a talent for capturing the moment in pictures! Love these!

  5. I loved this post! It was great! I love the little old ladies…so cute! and I laughed out loud from your sense of humor about the produce dept. and the fresh beef! I like the cowboy from another era and how his face just lit up when he smiled…I also love his boots! I like the really bored lady with her head down and in her hand…now that’s bored I tell ya! She’s probably been coming here forever…hey, that just might be you someday when you’re 80! You’ll be like, “oh Harland..not again..can I go get some pie?” I want to go to an auction..I’ve never been to one!

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Bonnie,
      You’re probably right about Harland and I attending the auction when we are 80. The upside is that I won’t care about my weight then and will eat as much pie as I can. 🙂

  6. P.S. I forgot to mention the hands. I absolutely love that! To me, that’s the me, I respect those hands..that’s a lifetime of hard work, work that provides all of us with food. My father’s hands look like that too..I have taken a photo of his hands as well..I need to find that photo. My dad is not a farmer, but he was a contractor for 45 years, and he was a good one too. He has built houses, garages, room additions, remodels, purchased and completely renovated an apartment building, installed doors and windows and aluminum siding, roofs…all with his own hands, he did all the work himself and his partner in the business. That to me is the best part of my Dad..and now I have tears in my eyes…but they are good tears! great post Suzanne. I think you may have just inspired me to make a post on my Dad.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Bonnie,
      Aren’t hands fascinating? So expressive, and so indicative of who a person really is. Please do a post about your dad. Would love to learn more about him.

  7. Joani says:

    Yes, I’ve been to many auctions. The food is usually good cuz it is cooked by one of the ranches wives or daughters. It’s always fascinating to watch people there. Guess the two ladies didn’t want to go & play one more bingo or checkers or whatever they usually do. Maybe they just wanted to smell some good old manure. Great pictures & I luv the post. n Have a good day.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Joani,
      Well, if they were there to smell manure, they came to the right place. After sitting there for a few hours, I went home and smelled like manure until I took a shower. It gets into your clothes, your hair. Ick.
      Thanks for stopping by Joani.

  8. Alica says:

    I posted too quickly the first time, and then had to go milk the cows…but I was thinking about how much your cattle auction looks like ours here, but instead of cowboys, ours would be full of Amish men! 🙂

  9. I’ve never been to a cattle auction, but sure enjoyed your post about one. Awesome photos!

  10. Pam says:

    We have a sale barn every Wed. morning year round. They sell all variety of critters. We have a character that I call Chicken George from the movie Roots. He has a big floppy hat with miscellaneous feathers stuck in the band.In nicer weather it is also a flee market and produce market. Love your posts. Love your love story. Your photgraphs are very enjoyable.

    • Suzanne says:

      Oh Thank you Pam!
      Your auction sounds like a great time. I like the produce market. What a great idea. Ours doesn’t have that.

  11. Kerry Hand says:

    When I went to the United States I learned people did not look like those on TV. They looked like those people here at the cattle auction.

  12. Glyndalyn says:

    Enjoyed the post. Also enjoyed Kerry Hand’s observation (above post).

  13. Nanci says:

    Love your cattle auction posts.

  14. Glenda says:

    You certainly captured the true essence of the sale barn.

    Yes, we raise Black Angus cattle and have gone to lots of sales. We don’t always stay to see the cattle sold on big days. Sitting for hours in the seats is not my idea of fun.
    We have a new very modern sale barn in the area that looks very much like yours. A negative is the last time I went, they were still allowing smoking and the blue haze was more than I could take.

    We have a few Amish every sale day that sit down front. It seems to me that is where most of the buyers sit in our sale barn. The seats even have small side arm desks.

    We will be taking cattle in in March.

    • Suzanne says:

      Thank you Glenda!
      Luckily, smoking is not allowed at our sale barn. But I remember years ago attending sales and the cloudy noxious haze that hung over the arena. Almost made it hard to breathe. Not enjoyable at all.

  15. Teresa says:

    I love your people shots here. I gained a pair of kittens from the sale barn one time. I’m pretty sure I lost money that day!

  16. Chester's Mom says:

    Just had to show my husband (a semi-retired auctioneer)the cattle auction and he throughly enjoyed it all. Thanks so much for your posts and pics.

  17. Marilyn says:

    Loved both of your posts on cattle auctions! We love auctions especially the ones that sell all kinds of animals, not many of those around anymore.
    The people pictures were great, loved the story of the hands. A farmer’s hands do tell a story.

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