Central Livestock has been providing marketing services to the area for ten years

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On Wednesday, August 28, cattle were let into the auction ring one at a time from the doors on the left, moving quickly around the auctioneer’s platform during the bidding, and then headed out the double doors to the right. Assisting in the ring are “Big John” Hoenermann and Bob Young. Seated above are Grant Bollum, clerk, and John Barber, auctioneer. Barber has been an auctioneer since 1957, coming to Zumbrota in 2008 from South St. Paul. The board in the background displays information for the current sale on the left and previous animals sold on the right (includes weight and price).

By Marilyn Anderson

ZUMBROTA – Nearly every day of the week, year-round, livestock haulers bring animals to the north edge of Zumbrota along County Road 6. They aren’t heading to the Goodhue County Fairgrounds, but across the road to the Zumbrota Market of the Central Livestock Association. July 2013 marked the tenth anniversary of Central Livestock owning the market. As a thank you to the market’s customers, buyers and staff for their dedication and support through the years, Central Livestock will host a Customer Appreciation 10th anniversary Special Feeder Cattle Sale on September 12 to celebrate the history of the Central Livestock Zumbrota Market.

History of the Zumbrota Market

Though the Zumbrota Market has been part of Central Livestock Association for ten years, its history goes back several decades. The Art Tostrud family was the first family to own and operate it when they opened the Zumbrota Livestock Pavilion. Shortly after, in 1964, the Webster family of Don, Pat, Tom and Jerry took the business over. Other than a short period in the 1970s, the Webster family continued to own and operate it until 2003 when Central Livestock purchased the facility naming it Central Livestock Zumbrota Market.

Central Livestock Association

Livestock production continues to play an important role in midwest agriculture, resulting in livestock markets and stockyards playing a key role in the industry. Central Livestock Association is a 90-year-old livestock marketing company that owns and operates markets in several locations in the midwest to serve cattle, horse, swine, sheep, and goat producers. 

 In addition to the Zumbrota Market, Central Livestock also owns markets in Albany and Rock Creek, and West Fargo, North Dakota. The South St. Paul stockyards, where the commission first opened in 1921, closed in 2008. However, the corporate headquarters remain there. Technology has impacted the business with websites, cellphones and online bidding being added to the longstanding daily radio programs and market reports to keep livestock producers informed and in touch. 

Zumbrota Market

There are 37 employees at the Zumbrota site, including those working in the café and at Stockman’s Supply, a full service livestock equipment and farm supply store. Bob Young has been the manager at the Zumbrota Market since 2008. John Hoernemann, Don Huntington, Dale Krier and Donnie Dohrn are the Zumbrota field service representatives. 

Hoernermann (also known as “Big John”) said 300,000 head of livestock pass through the Zumbrota location annually, coming from a 100-mile radius. Buyers are primarily from the same radius, though with the option of internet bidding, even international bids and purchases have occurred. 

Depending on the type and size of the sale, the number of people on site for an auction varies. Hoenermann noted a recent Monday auction had 100 buyers, sellers and spectators in attendance. The eight-hour auction offered a variety of cows, bulls and baby calves. On other days of the week, auctions are held for sheep, goats, hogs, and dairy cattle.

Not all sellers or buyers have their own livestock trailers. This is where people like Jerry Erickson of Zumbrota come in. On average, Erickson can be found arriving or leaving the market, or in the café waiting for a sale to be completed, five days a week. Erickson has been a livestock hauler since 1965, sometimes taking five or six loads of animals to the market in one day.

 With all the coming and going to the Zumbrota Market, Hoer-nermann said, “We hope they stop in town, too.” He encourages people unfamiliar with the market to stop by for an auction, adding, “We offer the cheapest entertainment in Zumbrota. People can sit in the bleachers and watch the auction; come and go as they want. Have a cup of coffee or something to eat in the café, too.” 

The Zumbrota Market is located at 44326 County 6 Blvd.



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