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The Stockmen's Livestock Exchange in Dickinson played host of the Angus Influence Feeder Cattle Special auction in Dickinson on Jan. 3. Photo by James B. Miller, Jr. / The Dickinson Press

Moooving cattle from ranch to rail -- Stockmen's Livestock Exchange hosts special auction

The rancorous and pungent aroma of manure and mud blended with the stomach-rumbling smell of country kitchen cooking at the Stockmen's Livestock Exchange in Dickinson on Jan. 3.

The auction barn was booming with a mélange of sights and sounds as attendees sprung hands high into the air in response to the auctioneer's rapid-fire ramblings. Responsible for organizing an auction and managing the bidding and sale process, auctioneers at the Stockmen's Livestock Exchange in Dickinson demonstrated mastery of their craft.

Ranchers, each with keen eyes and years of experience at the auction block, evaluated the temperament, physical, emotional and intellectual components of the livestock on sale—each attempting to outbid the other in a war differentiating a good from bad winter haul.

If you ask any rancher he'll tell you that the trick to profitability comes in raising livestock and knowing the ins-and-outs of how to purchase cattle at auction.

This year's sale featured an outstanding selection of high-quality cattle coming from local ranches, and with futures showing a low of $146.225 and a high of $147.950, January's feeder cattle market appears to many to be the opportune time to buy.