Livestock auctions merge

Published 1:06 am Friday, September 28, 2018

The Opp Farmer’s Cooperative Market and Livestock Auction has merged with the Graceville, Fla., Livestock Auction and board chairman Steve Godwin said that things have been going smoothly for the past couple of weeks.

Godwin said that the two cattle auctions were competing against each other.

“Is this business, it is strictly a numbers game,” Godwin said. “The lower the number of cattle you have, then the less likely you will earn commission. The Graceville auction and us were getting cattle from the same sellers, so we were essentially splitting the number of cattle that was available.”

Godwin said that now, they are able to buy more cattle since they have merged.

“We were working against each other,” Godwin said. “Now instead of having one day of operation we have two.”

The Opp Livestock Auction usually sold on Wednesdays, but since the merger, they have moved to Tuesdays.

“We have stopped conducting weekly sales,” Godwin said. “Now we let Graceville coordinate everything. We still own all of our property, we just lease it to Graceville now.”

Godwin said the changes have helped business.

“Since we changed the day to Tuesday, we have bigger buyers that are able to come and check our cattle,” Godwin said. “And like the Greek economical system, the greater the demand, the higher the price.”

The Graceville auction was having trouble where they were located so they offered to come to Opp, Godwin said.

“Our cooperative still remains in business,” Godwin said. “Graceville approached us about the possibility of leasing our facilities, so they bring their cattle to Opp and are running the weekly sale.”

Godwin hopes to use some of the funds from the lease payments to increase the co-op’s productivity.

“Hopefully some of the funds that we receive from Graceville will provide us with an opportunity,” Godwin said. “We may be able to do some different things to benefit the community as a whole.”

Godwin advises anyone who is looking for a good place to buy cattle to stop by the new auction.

“Anyone who is considering getting their cattle from elsewhere, there is no need,” Godwin said. “We have a great selection on calves and our prices are good.”

The Opp cooperative began in 1945 with a 4-H calf show in March and regular sales of cattle in July of that year, and has been been in continuous operation ever since.