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Cattle flooding Nebraska 2019.NE National Guard.jpg Nebraska National Guard photo by Spc. Lisa Crawford
Eastern Nebraska experienced massive flooding on the state’s river systems which began March 13, 2019 and caused catastrophic damage to the state’s infrastructure, agriculture and personal property.

Auction markets raise over $230,000 for Nebraska flood relief

Funds contributed to Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund or directly to feed, fencing and hauling.

Thirteen auction market members of the Livestock Marketing Assn. (LMA) hosted the sale of a roll-over auction animal earlier this spring to support Nebraska flood relief efforts. The livestock sales, which took place across Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming raised more than $230,000 worth of proceeds. 

Member markets that hosted roll-over sales included Alma Livestock Auction, Alma, Neb.; Atkinson Livestock, Atkinson, Neb.; Basset Livestock, Bassett, Neb.; Beatrice 77 Livestock Sales, Beatrice, Neb.; Columbus Sales Pavilion, Columbus, Neb.; Elgin Livestock, Elgin, Neb.; Fullerton Livestock Market, Fullerton, Neb.; Huss Livestock Market LLC, Kearney, Neb.; Sheridan Livestock, Rushville, Neb.; St. Onge Livestock, St. Onge, S.D.; Torrington Livestock Market, Torrington, Wyo.; Verdigre Stockyards; Verdigre, Neb.; Wahoo Livestock Sales, Wahoo, Neb., and West Point Stockyards, West Point, Neb.

One LMA member who hosted a roll-over benefit auction was directly affected by the floods. Lu Rieken, owner of Fullerton Livestock Market, said there was less than an hour warning before flood waters hit their business. With 4.5 ft. of standing water inside the market, damage from water and debris to the market was extensive. 

Despite facing its own damage, Fullerton Livestock Market chose to participate in a roll-over auction to assist relief efforts across the state.

“Our philosophy is that it’s not how far or how hard you fall, it’s how fast you get back up,” Lu Rieken said. “We weren’t the only ones suffering. Everyone was, and we wanted them to know we put them first.”

A majority of the funds raised by participating member markets were contributed to the Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund or directly to feed, fencing and hauling needs of individuals. Some markets chose to serve as pickup sites for producers to access feed, hay and other supplies.

Pete McClymont, executive vice president of the Nebraska Cattlemen Assn., said the contributions given to the relief fund by LMA member markets were overwhelming. 

“When I see Dennis Henrichs with Beatrice 77 Livestock Sales enter our office with an envelope full of donations, it just about makes you cry,” McClymont said. “It makes you feel good about mankind to know people are sitting in the seats of these markets bidding, saying, ‘Yes, I want to help.’” 

According to McClymont, all proceeds received by the Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund will be distributed back to those who completed an application for need. LMA also contributed $3,000 to each participating member market’s total donations raised.

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