“I made my first dollar at Lewistown Livestock working in the back during sheep sales when I was four or five years old.”
That’s what Kyle Shobe told Northern Ag Network’s Leif Bakken when reflecting on his life around the livestock barn that will soon transfer to his name. Kyle grew up penning sheep in the back during sale days and then had the opportunity, in later years, to be the auctioneer.
Lewistown Livestock’s history begins in the 1940s when the barn was located at the current Fergus County Fairgrounds, across from the current location on the north end of Lewistown. Lyle and Jan Allen, current owners and operators, acquired the livestock yards in 2000. Lyle grew up with the sale barn in the 1970s, his family owned it at the time, and it came full circle to be the owners again. Shobe said it feels the same way to him.
Kyle is well known across central Montana serving as the auctioneer for Lewistown Livestock but also traveling to other auction barns along with production sales across the region. Shobe was the Livestock Marketing Association’s World Livestock Auction Champion in 2010. He is also involved in the family business, United Country Shobe Auction and Realty. On top of an auctioneer career, Kyle is the lead singer for the musical group ‘Kyle Shobe & the Walk ‘Em Boys. With an already expansive background, Kyle said Lewistown Livestock is giving their family a chance to diversify.
Kyle and his wife, Jodie, are buying the business from the Allen’s but they look at the purchase as more than a business.
“The central Montana community is so important to my wife and I,” Kyle said. “It’s such a big part of why we’re doing this. We’re not just buying a business, this is not just a business opportunity, this is an opportunity to make a difference in our community.”
The Shobe’s truly love their community and find it important to keep it thriving. Kyle said keeping commerce local makes a huge difference, especially in a place like Lewistown. No matter the product being purchased, the local dollar is turned over multiple times right there.
“Not only are we hoping to provide a continued, good, fair, competitive platform to sell cattle. But it also keeps that dollar local,” Shobe explained. He continued by saying, “Lewistown is a great place to live and raise a family. We feel blessed for the opportunity to live here, but more importantly we feel privileged to be able to serve our community by providing jobs and stimulating our local economy.”
They continue to focus on making it a smooth transition but the vision is to concentrate on customer service for buyers and sellers, continuing to improve the facility to make it more efficient, and providing producers with a stable, competitive market.
The hearing for the transition will be held Friday, September 18th at 1:00 p.m. at Lewistown Livestock.
Leif Bakken – Northern Ag Network – 2020
Photo courtesy: Shobe Auction