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Published July 07, 2014, 10:02 AM

Rugby (ND) Livestock Sales sold, will remain open

Rugby (N.D.) Livestock Sales has been sold, but will remain open during the transition to new ownership, according to an official with the company that handled the sale.

By: Jonathan Knutson, Agweek

Rugby (N.D.) Livestock Sales has been sold, but will remain open during the transition to new ownership, according to an official with the company that handled the sale.

The identify of the new owner wasn’t available when this issue of Agweek was being finalized.

Dave Keller, with Pifer’s Auction and Realty of Moorhead, Minn., said on July 3 that the new owner is “a local buyer.”

The target date to close the transaction is Aug. 1. Glen and Helga Thiel, who have owned the business, will help during the transition, Keller says.

The sale was conducted through a written bid auction that ended June 30.

Glen Thiel had told Agweek on July 1 that he was still weighing the offers.

Thiel, 58, says he and his wife bought the business 18 years ago. At the time, they intended to sell before he reached 60.

“With the price of livestock, we decided this might be a good time to try to get out,” he says.

Cattle prices have soared to record highs.

Kevin Pifer, who heads Pifer’s Auction and Realty, says interest in buying Rugby Livestock Sales was strong. He gives three reasons for that:

• The facility is in excellent physical condition. The 8,000-square-foot sales barn, built in the 1960s, “has been meticulously maintained and updated with high speed fiber optic Wi-Fi on site,” according to the Pifer’s website.

• The cattle market is robust.

• The former Northern Livestock Auction in Minot, N.D., 65 miles west of Rugby, closed in early 2013, sending more customers to the Rugby business.

The Rugby sales barn has three full-time employees and 18 part-timers, Thiel says.

The business occupies about 10 acres of land on the south side of U.S. Highway 2. The sales ring seats more than 200, and the onsite lunch kitchen seats 200, according to the Pifer’s website.

Rugby, a town of 2,900 is in north-central North Dakota, often is billed as the “geographic center of North America.”

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