Fall Sale Chat

On Monday, we participated in a Fall Sale Chat (#fallsalechat)  put on by Focus Marketing Group. We have had the chance to work with Kyla and her team on different occasions and really like they work that they are doing. So when we were asked to give advice on putting on a sale, we were excited to join in! The chat lasted for several hours on Twitter, where they posed various questions one might have when thinking about putting on a sale.

Twitter only allows you to put so many characters (words) out there to the world, so we wanted to post the questions and our full answers for our readers and followers to see. All questions were given by Focus Marketing Group and answers by DP Sales Management.

1. What’s the first step in planning a fall sale?
So you have decided you want to have a sale! Now what?! Once you have decided you want to have a sale, first off you will need to decide on the format (live, private treaty, or online). After that you will want to sit down and choose a date. You want to choose a date that works best for you, but also showcases your cattle are the right time. What will you be selling and when will they look their best? Also think about the time of year and what people are looking for. In the spring time, juniors are looking for open heifers to show throughout the summer and into the fall. Think about your weather. You might not want to have a sale in South Dakota in the middle of winter. If you are looking to hire sales management, you will want to make sure the date you choose is available with the sale manager. All of these things are factors that influence the perfect sale date for you and your operation.
2. When should I take the pictures for my sale?
When you are deciding when to take photos for your sale you should work closely with your photographer, advertising formats, and catalog production. You will need to know when ad deadlines are for your chosen outlets. Most of the time though you will take your photos  at least 2 months before your sale. If you are doing early advertising you might want to take a handful of photos earlier to entice buyers and use for ads. If you are doing an online sale you might be able to get away with taking them later, but you would want to check with the company operating your sale.
When you do decide to take your photos – make sure your animals are in good shape and are represented the way you want them to. These photos will be a direct reflection of your operation and genetics. Make sure they are clipped, washed, and maintained.
3. Why should I advertise my sale?
Advertising is essential to a cattle sale. Because we all don’t live in the same town or state as our buyers we want to be able to reach a large target market. If it is your first time having your sale – you might want to advertise a little heavier than you would a sale that has been going on for years. You want to get your name out there as much as possible. Remember that your advertising is the image you are building to showcase yourself and your operation. Try to follow through with your image in all forms of advertising.
4. What are the best forms of advertisement?
Once you decide on your sale date, you will want to sit down and plan out your advertising schedule and budget. Think about which magazines reach your target market. If you are a club calf breeder, you wouldn’t want to advertise in a purebred publication. We like to advertise in a national publication, but also run something in your state cattlemen’s association publication or newspaper. Print advertising will always be an important part of livestock advertisement no matter how much we rely on the internet.
Another resource we like to use closer to sale time is an E-Blast. These can be sent out through your breed publication or advertising & marketing agencies. With everyone using the internet and e-mail; you can send an ad out to thousands of people at the click of a mouse. Your E-Blast should link to your website or sale page where they can get additional information on you and your sale.
5. Do I need to take videos as well?
Videos are very important to marketing your sale not matter if it is live, private treaty or online. Because of advertising deadlines we have to take photos atleast a month and half to two months before the actual sale. Cattle change a lot from the time photos are taken to the time of the sale. Videos allow you to wait until closer to sale time, allow those animals to develop more, and then put them out there. Buyers can evaluate the animals for what they truly are. YouTube helps make these videos easy to put out there, and for potential buyers to find. Remember to put information about finding the videos in your sale catalog, Facebook page, or website. We had a bull sale once that a potential buyer watched the videos and decided to bid on a bull he said he wouldn’t have if it had not been for the video. Both pictures and videos work together to successfully market your sale and your animals.
6. Can I take my own pictures?
This is a tricky one. With the availabilty of camera phones and nice cameras these days, most anyone thinks they can be a photographer. Yes, you can take your own photos. But before you do, think about the image you want to portray of your operation. Sometimes a photo can bring in a ton of viewers or it can send them away just as fast. Professional pictures look uniform, are edited correctly, and will be the correct format (high resolution) needed for catalog and web production.
7. Should I create a FB or Twitter account for my farm or ranch?
With the major prescence of social media has in our lives today, it is helpful to great accounts on widely used social media applications. Facebook is not just for young people anymore – people of all ages are using it. Facebook is a great way to get your photos of your animals out there to potential buyers. Post a sneak peek photo of the offering to entice lookers before posting all or a portion of the photos on your page.
8. Do I need an internet presence for my farm/ranch?
Yes – a farm/ranch or sale needs a strong internet presence these days. There are several ways to do this with technology today. A professional looking website with up to date information can be a great asset to your farm. Remember to keep it updated. Potential buyers don’t want to go to your website only to find things from last year or later still on your website. Again – this is the image you are portraying to people. You don’t let your lawn or pasture get overgrown because of what people might think, same goes with updating your website. It shows you are organized and doing things for your farm or sale in a timely manner. Hiring a professional company that specializes in websites and advertising will be a great asset to you.
Along the lines of internet, if you are having a live sale at your farm/ranch, I would recommend looking into broadcasting online. We have several sales throughout the sale season that utilize it, but when that one sale doesn’t, you better believe everyone is calling to ask if they can watch online. On average we have around 200 watchers online. Maybe they aren’t buying anything that day, but you have made a connection with them and they could be a possible customer in the future.
9. Do buyers prefer live, private treaty or online formats?
Personally I don’t think buyers prefer one over the other. Buyers who are seriously involved in the cattle business and are looking to purchase quality

seed stock are going to no matter which avenue it is. Of course it is easy to log on the internet and buy cattle, but you want to make sure you do your homework first on the breeder and the animal you are looking to purchase. There are only so many weekends in a year for cattle farms/ranches to host a sale at their farm, but with the internet you can have them any day of the week, at any time.

10. Which is easier to put on?
All formats of a sale take a lot of planning, advertising & marketing, and organization. None are easier than the other if you are trying to do a good job and convey an operation that is offering outstanding cattle. For purebred breeders, Our company believes that the live sale will always be a preferred method. Live cattle sales is not just about the cattle you are selling, but also the relationship you are building with other breeders and potential buyers. You want customers to come to your farm, feed them a good meal, and show off your operation and genetics. You are building a reputation with these people and within your breed.
11. What one piece of advice would you give to any livestock producer about putting on a sale?
When people buy cattle and are building their herds, they are quick to jump in to have a sale. A sale is a huge undertaking, but also can be a big reward for your operation. Make sure you have the number of cattle to sustain a sale, but that will not jeopardize the number of quality genetics you are keeping back in your herd. You could have a great sale the first year, but if you sell all your outstanding genetics the first year, what will you build upon after that? Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
If you have any questions about putting on a sale, please feel free to contact us. We would love to help you! Thanks again to Focus Marketing Group for allowing us to be a part of this!
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stars & Stripes consignors author book

 

This past weekend was the Stars & Stripes Sale held in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The sale site, at Mountain View Farms, is just minutes away from where the action took place at the Battle of Gettysburg. We tell everyone that if you are going to attend one sale all spring, it should be this one. The area is rich with history. Of course, if you flipped through the sale catalog you might have seen that they offer tours on Friday afternoon before the pre-sale dinner. This isn’t your boring, run of the mill tour. This is a personalized tour just for you!

Dr. Carol Reardon has done the tour for the past few years, and is absolutely wonderful. Last year we found out that her and Tom Vossler, owner of Mountain View Farms and retired Colonel has been commissioned to write a book together on Gettysburg. So this year; with the release of their book coming soon, they did the tour together! It was definitely a treat for the 18 individuals who went on the tour.

Of course, we wanted to have the two celebrities signing books on sale day, but it isn’t available quite yet. So the next best thing we could do was hand out these cards with all the information about the book. And we want you to know where you can get it! I even bet if you get it and bring it to the sale next year you can get it autographed!

Here it is!

 

The Field Guide takes you through 35 ( I believe, but don’t quote me) stops throughout the battlefield. You can literally take the book and travel through the battlefield and Tom and Carol will tell you what happened. Not only does it tell you what happened there, but what real civilians went through during the war. Like losing their homes, barns, and animals. People tried to get the government to help them out afterwards, but many never saw a dime.

If you are interested in learning more about the book, how to order it, and when it comes out you can visit  here. It is definitely exciting to know that our friends Tom & Carol authored this amazing book about history. It definitely makes you have one of those, “Hey, I know them!” moments.

So order your book and bring it with you to the 2014 Stars & Stripes Sale the first Saturday in May!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Little Things….

If you look back a post, you might have read about Matt Koverman. Matt was a young consignor we had the chance to meet and work with at the Ohio Beef Expo. The other day before we left to head to the Virginia Beef Expo, the mail came. As we were going through the stack looking for the new magazines and catalogs I came across an envelope. You could tell the handwriting was precise and well thought out.

And then you saw what was inside. A handwritten, thoughtful note from Matt. It was so incredibly sweet and thoughtful. Not many young people would do something like he did – just a small gesture of gratitude that will leave a lasting impression.

 

The last week there has been so many bad things happen in our country. So much sadness and hurt, but it is things like this that make you remember that there are good people in the world. The Koverman’s are raising a great young man!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Young Consignor

Ya’ll know how much we love helping young people. I find that I have so many people that have helped me out, shaped me into the person I am, and gave me guidance that I have to do the same in return. Of course, in this business we get plenty of opportunties to do so through the American Junior Simmental Association and state association events we are affiliated with. Not to mention the FFA which is very near and dear to our heart.

Meet Matt Koverman.

The youngest consignor at the 2013 Ohio Beef Expo!

Matt consigned a daughter of Cinderella and Trademark to the Ohio Beef Expo. He even filled the nomination form out online all by himself. His heifer sold for $4,100 and went to Gonsior Simmentals in Nebraska. His family is super nice and supportive. This is one of their first ventures into the Simmental breed, so we hope that Matt is hooked! We hope they continue to be apart of the Ohio Beef Expo and the Simmental industry for a long time!

Dad also employeed him for the next 5 years at the Ohio Beef Expo. I think by then he will be 15.

He couldn’t leave the Ohio Beef Expo without a new DP hat. He was pretty excited about it. Thats what it is all about – making the young kids excited about the Simmental breed!

 

Posted in cattle sales | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

DP’s birthday

Most everyone around here birthdays fall during some type of cattle event. DP #2 (Debbie)’s birthday is always during Denver. Mine falls during Fort Worth. Drew’s is during the Kentucky Beef Expo.

And DP’s always falls during the Ohio Beef Expo.

We love the Ohio Beef Expo because we have some favorite restuarants to go eat at. This always gives us a great opportunity to go out for DP’s birthday. This year his birthday fell on the day before the sale so we went out to McCormick and Schmick’s which is a great seafood restaurant.

Happy Birthday!

Thanks to social media and all of our customers and friends out there; his birthday got lots of well wishes on Facebook. People would even call him to wish him Happy Birthday, and when he asked how they knew – facebook! He always tells me not to put things about him on Facebook (do I listen?), but I know he liked everyone sending him love that day!

The best surprise though came on Saturday after the sale. Our dear friend CJ Brown (www.cjbrownstudios.com)is a great artist, and we love her work – just walk through our house. We own CJ Brown prints, we are in CJ Brown prints, our dogs are in CJ Brown prints, and we have a custom sheep print. We’re fans. One of my favorite things she does though are these small pencil drawings of subjects. Not really with any background – just simple pencil drawings.

Which brings us to this photo. 

This is one of DP’s favorite photos. This is SVF Sheza Star N902 at the National Western Stock Show. She later sold to Clear Water Simmentals for over $70,000.

So knowing that this is one of his favorite photos and admiring CJ’s pencil work I asked her to do this photo for him for his birthday. CJ always has a booth at the Ohio Beef Expo so it would work out just perfectly. On the morning of the Simmental sale we were suppose to head over to her booth where she would have it hanging. Well the day just got away from us and we never made it over. So it hung all day in her booth and people knew it was him! I was afraid someone would come by and say, “Hey, great photo, ” but luckily no one did. So CJ delivers it to us at the end of the day as we were finishing up clerking. She gets it out of the wrap and says, “Hey Doug, I want to show you a new piece I did and see what you think. I call it “The Great Simmental Showman.”

 

He was speechless at first. It turned out so good. The beam in the back with the fabric is just enough to let you know that it is the NWSS.  She signed the back “The Great Simmental Showman.” He is a great showman. He also knew that I was the culprit behind it because he says I am always trying to do special things like that.

Happy Birthday DP! And thanks CJ for sharing your talent with us once again!

Posted in cattle sales | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to Cowtown!

Last week, Drew and I attended the 2013 Fort Worth Stock Show Simmental Open Show in preparations for the 2014 National Show. You may or may not know that in 2014 the National Simmental Show and Sale will be held in Fort Worth, Texas in conjunction with their stock show. It was previously held in Cowtown (Fort Worth) in 2009.

In 2009, the sun was shining brightly in Texas and Simmental breeders from all across the U.S. attended the Fort Worth Stock Show to participate in the National Show and Sale. We managed an event called “The Cowtown Classic” sale which was held in this huge sales arena. The sale was a great success. The show a couple hundred entries, and was highly competitive. Did I mention it was sunny and mild…in January/February?

The National Simmental events for 2014 will be held January 29-February 2nd in Fort Worth. We will be having a sale on February 1st along with two great days of shows and some other neat events. Fort Worth is a great city filled with a lot of great history surrounding the cattle industry. You can venture down to the old Fort Worth Stockyards where there are lots of great restaurants, shops, nightlife, and where they still drive cattle down the cobble streets. If you haven’t ever been to Fort Worth before, go ahead and get your planner out and open it 2014. Just go ahead and pencil the Stock Show because it will definitely be a good time and a great showcase for Simmental genetics.

 

 

For the 2014 Cowtown Classic we are looking for consignments from Purebred, Percentage, Simbrah, and Fullblood breeders. If you would like more information please do not hesitate to give us a call. It is never too early to begin thinking ahead about your consignments to great events like this!

 

Posted in cattle sales, cattle shows | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The future of sales management

If you know DP very well – you will know that he loves kids. He is a big kid himself. But in all seriousness, he loves to make small children happy, befriend all, and help older kids begin to succeed. There isn’t many kids that don’t like him. In the recent months we have got to meet and make great friends with the Kemme family from Illinois. I first met Julie (the mom) because she was the “block lady” that was selling blocks for the Illinois Junior National fundraiser.  Her and her husband Todd live just minutes away from our clients the Alwardt clan. Their older son Kellen is a young junior showman.

And then we met her youngest son.

Deken

Deken is a big fan of DP, and happily the rest of our clan too. He has been on the auction block auctioning after the Land of Lincoln. On the stand in New Market Hall doing the same. He even gave out ribbons at the NAILE Junior Percentage Show.

At the ASA Chairman’s Reception in Denver, Deken even got to try out his bidding skills on some items. Julie kept telling him, “Only raise your hand when they tell you to!”

We know that he admires the “sale manager” as we call it. If he gets a cowboy hat it has to be tan – just like DP’s. He is quite the character! Though he doesn’t quite have the stamna just yet to join us on the auction block.  He was fast asleep the other night before the sale in Denver.

But more importantly that night -

He was ready for cake at Texas de Brazil!

Who knows what Deken will grow up to be. He still has a lot of schooling to do. But for now we enjoy having him around the DP Sales crew and enjoy teaching him the ropes. No matter what age young people are, it is important to nurture their interests, offer guidance and support, and hope they follow in the footsteps of those around them. We’ll be ready to hire Deken down the road though!

 

Posted in cattle sales, cattle shows | 1 Comment

A new partnership

We are very lucky to get to work with some great companies throughout the Agriculture and livestock industries. The people that you get to work with and the relationships you build with them are some of the most rewarding experiences throughout business.

For 2013, we are excited to start a venture with a new company. We have worked with DVAuctions over the years at certain sales across the U.S, but are happy to be forming a more stable relationship in 2013. DVAuctions will broadcast most of DP managed sales beginning with the Sunset View Family Traditions Bull Sale on February 23. Many of you know Becky Wadlow from her time at EDJE Technologies with EDJE Cast, and we are happy that she has joined DVAuction and will serve as the DP account representative. So you will still get to see Becky’s smiling face at many sales.

Please visit www.dvauction.com to learn more about their company and make an account on their website. We look forward to working with DVAuction for many years to come!

Posted in cattle sales | Tagged , | Leave a comment

National Western Stock Show

As most of you, we just returned from the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado. The NWSS always feels like the official kick-off to the year, and the rest of the year filled with lots of great Simmental events across the country. Denver has its own special feel about it. I can remember the first time I ever set foot in the yards. The sun was going down and I wasn’t a fan. No matter what the weather is, Denver will always hold a very special place in my heart, as I know it does many of you.

I wish I could say heading out to the NWSS is a vacation, but gosh we were busy! It seemed like every night there was some sort of event to attend and friends to visit with. Of course during the weekend you have to be in the yards. It is the place to be! Herd bull alley is full with on-lookers looking for the great, next big thing. My personal favorite was Texas Tornado that was in the Matt Lautner line up. I’m such a sucker for that color. A Simmental sire that seemed to have a lot of friends from Loaded Up owned by Werning. I believe he sells in their bull sale. It was always a dream of mine to have a bull in Herd Bull Alley. Maybe one day. Then of course, on Sunday, you have to be at the pen bull show. There is something about the pen bull show that screams “out west” to me. I love the whole atmosphere behind it.

The Simmentals are always one of the last breeds to show at the National Western. So by the time our events get into full swing it begins to look like a ghost time minus the buffalo, yaks, and MiniHerefords (big congrats to KLD Properties and Sanders Ranch on Res. Mini Female). It kinda is nice though because it almost feels like you have the whole place to yourself.

Of course at night there are sales and events to attend. The night we arrived in Denver we headed over to the Embryos on Snow managed by Christy Collins. The following night was the SimMagic on Ice. Then on Sunday we headed to the ASA Chairman’s Reception to honor some great Simmental members and raise a little money for the Foundation. Congratulations to Willie Altenburg, Tommy Brown, and Roger Kenner for their induction into the Golden Book. Monday offered a packed house at The One Sale. Tuesday night was the Wild Wild West Simmental Sale at Adams County Fairgrounds. A great group of Simmental breeders from Colorado and Kansas put together a solid group of genetics to offer. This is always a great, laid back event that many look forward to attending. They had a great sale this year and averaged just over $3,500. 

Showing in Denver is a special moment. I don’t care how many times you have done, or what place you stood. It might not be the green shavings of Louisville, but the atmosphere of knowing “I’m showing at the National Western” should humble any wise cattleman or cattlewoman. The numbers were quite low this year, but the show was still solid. Wayward Hill Farms of Versailles, Kentucky and member of the Bulls/Belles of the Bluegrass group bred the Grand Champion Purebred Heifer. Also, a heifer that sold in the NAILE Select Sale and was exhibited by Haley Hedrick was Grand Champion Female in the Junior Show. It is always great to see clients and friends succeed. Congratulations to all those who exhibited at the “Super Bowl” this year.

See ya next year Denver!

Posted in cattle shows | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Honoring Merrill Anderson

Auctions. They are in my blood. There is nothing I love more than to hear the chant of an auctioneer.

My earliest recollection of an auctioneer is back when Merrill Anderson was on the auction block. He was always so nice to me as a little girl so in awe of his craft, the auction experience, and basically cattle in general. I always remember Merrill at the Simmental Breeders Sweepstakes where he auctioned the Embryo and Fun Auction. Fun, he was. And he had the biggest smile.

Over the years we had lost contact with Merrill. Jame Krieger and dad would bring him up on occasion, wondering where he was and how he was doing. There isn’t a time when an auction doesn’t start that I don’t think about him.

A few weeks ago, the DP’s, Drew, and I were headed to Lexington. While driving DP informed that he had received his invitation to the 2013 banquet for the Livestock Marketer’s in Denver. Each year they induct livestock marketing professionals (auctioneers, sale managers, ringman) into the Hall of Fame. I have tried to go – apparently they don’t allow ladies. Anyways, DP informed me that they were honoring Steve Dorran (one of my favorites) and Merrill Anderson. Boy, I was so happy. He is so deserving. I insisted that dad had to attend this year to be able to see Merrill. I wanted to go and see him. I promise, I’ll stand outside.

Then we received this….

January 2, 2013
This is the first attempt I have  made toward Anderson-Brady  newsletter.  I have felt so bad for
over a year that Nancy felt compelled to inform my friends and relatives of my condition.
We have battled this cancer bear for 24 hours a day with every ounce of strength we have.
We have no idea what is next,but I firmly believe, it is the power of prayer, that has made the
difference.  Prayer circles among the hispanics are very much   a way  of life, and I have hundreds
of hispanics who call, stop here and pray for me daily.  We also appreciate all the friends and family
members from Illinois , to South Dakota who keep me in their prayers daily.
We have followed by Dr.’s orders plus thanks to  Nancy and google we are drinking herb teas of
all kinds from both Indian and Mexican.  Nancy makes four types of tea everyday from scratch.
I was informed in November that the Livestock Marketing Association, established in 1965, had
nominated me, plus two of my very good friends; to the Hall of Fame to be held on January 19th,
in Denver at the national western livestock show.
On December27th, I received maybe the biggest shock of my life when Kirby Goettsch, Aberdeen,
South Dakota;Ken Torr,Greencastle Ind; Doug Paul, Edmond, Olk;and Ken Dolson from Hico,Tx
converged upon my door to bring the banquet to me.  These gentlemem worked with me as an
auctioneer for up to 50 years.
Nancy was involved  in the planning which was headed up by Kirby, to get schedules arranged
and get these four amigo’s  to South Texas.
It was the most exhilerating two days of my life.  On Friday they took the opportunity to present
me with  a beautiful plaque,which I shall cherish forever. I thik they all KNOW I HAVE NO
BUSINESS trying to go to Denver , which I love.  I am so very sorry but I don’t think I am
capable of handling the mile high city.  I have trouble walking through our home.
I love you all one and all, please feel free to call me at any time.

Let me first say that I cried. I was so happy to hear about him, but it also broke my heart to hear that he was ill. Then dad e-mailed him and copied me on it and I cried some more. I am personally going to write him an e-mail because I have thought of him often. Doug Paul is like an uncle to me, and I am so glad that he and the others were able to go visit with him and honor him. Even if the LMA doesn’t allow ladies in (yet), I am so glad that they are honoring the first auctioneer to teach me about the sale.

Posted in cattle sales | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment