Meet Jim and Stacy Newby from Worland, Wyoming. This hard-working couple owns the local livestock auction market, Worland Livestock Auction located in the heart of Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin.
The trade and sale of livestock has been a fixture throughout history, instrumentally shaping rural communities nationwide. For the Newby’s their customer base which extends across multiple states is their family. “Working with cattlemen and women is a lifestyle, not a job,” says Stacy. Our schedules and lives revolve around our customers and we learn from them and laugh with them every day.” The Newby’s facilitate livestock sales every Thursday from Labor Day through the first of June and every other week during the summer. Each year, approximately 15,000 cattle change owners at the Newby’s market and business continues to grow.
Pre-sale, the Newby’s receive cattle into their facility sometimes until late into the night. As the animals come in, the Newby’s conduct necessary veterinary bloodwork and tests, including pregnancy testing of heifers and cows. Cattle are then sorted into lots to best serve the needs of both the sellers and the buyers. Lots are based on weights, gender, composition, breed and a multitude of other qualities. Understanding the needs of the sellers as well as the buyers and connecting the two requires intrinsic understanding of the industry.
On sale day, the Newby’s hit the ground running early in the morning to pull off a sale by 11:00 am. Stacy describes sale day as “organized chaos” that requires the assistance of 16 to 20 additional employees. In a town the size of Worland which boasts fewer than 6,000 residents, that can be a challenge particularly when the work is part-time, odd hours and somewhat intermittent. “We really value our help,” says Stacy. “Some of the guys drive all the way from Cody and Meeteetsee to work here on sale day.” Full time employees include Jim, Stacy and one additional staff but everyone agrees that the employee of the month every month is Lonesome, the Newby’s cattle dog.
On days the sale barn isn’t open, this husband and wife team travel far and wide to facilitate the purchase and sale of cattle for specific clients who request their services. They also contribute as much time and support to their community as they can. “We owe our community our service to keep it thriving,” says Stacy who named numerous organizations to which she and Jim contribute time, money or beef products. “It’s our civic duty.”
The commitment evident in the couples work is also the foundation of their marriage. “We love what we do and the community we are part of, but the most important thing is us. Whatever we are doing, whatever we are involved in, we do it together. And that’s exactly how we want it to be.”
Feature date: 2015