Breckenridge Texan

Warehouse Feed to serve as local pick up station for Wichita Livestock Sales

Warehouse Feed to serve as local pick up station for Wichita Livestock Sales
July 16
09:31 2018

Local cattle raisers will no longer have to drive as far to get their cattle to auction. Beginning Tuesday, July 17, Breckenridge’s Warehouse Feed will become a pick up station for the Wichita Livestock Sales Co.

Warehouse Feed Manager Kyle Fambro said cattle raisers in Stephens County can now drop off their cattle in Breckenridge to be sent to Wichita Falls. He said the sale barn there provided Warehouse Feed with all the tags and paperwork necessary to process the cattle in Breckenridge and will send a truck each week to pick them up for the sale.

Cattle raisers can drop off their cattle at Warehouse Feed between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays. The cattle will be held overnight in the pens of the former Breckenridge sale barn, and on Wednesdays, a truck from Wichita Falls will pick them up.

When the sellers drop off their cattle, Fambro said, they will tag the cattle and fill out all the paperwork that is needed to sell them in Wichita Falls.

Fambro said that when the cattle raisers bring in their cattle for transfer to Wichita Falls, Warehouse Feed will put them on hay or feed and water. The sellers will get their copy of the paperwork that identifies which cattle they brought in. “That’s going to say ‘I brought six calves. They’re all black. One of them is a black-and-white-face calf; one’s a steer. This one’s a bull; this one’s a heifer.’ And that’ll identify that this cow belongs to this person,” he said.

A copy of the paperwork will travel to Wichita Falls with the cattle. Once the sale is over, Wichita Livestock Sales will send a check to the address that’s on the paperwork, Fambro said.

Because Wichita Falls is closer to Oklahoma City, the prices are going to be a little bit higher and the Wichita Falls sales barn’s commissions for selling the cattle are lower than some of the sales that are closer, Fambro said. However, he said, despite the higher prices and lower commissions, he thinks the distance people have to travel probably prevents a lot of local cattle raisers from taking their cattle to Wichita Falls to sell.

“A lot of people might be hesitant to haul their cattle all the way up to Wichita Falls because that’s a lot further to go,” he said. “You look at the amount of money they’re going to spend on fuel, the wear and tear on equipment, their trailer. There are some people that use the Wichita Falls sale, but I think with this option maybe more people will be more open to it. Rather than driving 30 minutes down the road to any these other sales that are closer (than Wichita Falls), they can just drop them off right here in town, and they don’t have to worry about it.”

While there is a fee to ship the cattle to Wichita Falls that comes out of the seller’s check, Fambro said, local cattle raisers will still save money because of the lower selling commissions and higher prices paid at the Wichita Falls sale barn, compared to some of the closer sales. Plus, he said, they’re saving money in fuel because they don’t have to drive 30 to 90 minutes down the road.

Another thing Fambro said he likes about the Wichita Falls sale is that it’s on Wednesday. He said Monday, when some of the other sales are held, is a hard day to get everything done. He said people want to enjoy their weekend, and with the new service, they can say, “Hey, I’m planning on picking some cattle out at my pasture on a Tuesday and I’m just going to drop them off at Warehouse Feed.”

He said they can go about their business and not have to worry about spending the time to drive to one of the other sales, unload the cattle and drive back.

“At the end of the day, they’re going to have to decide if it works with what they’re currently doing,” Fambro said. “I feel that providing our local customers with a convenient option to sell their cattle will prove to be beneficial to them in more ways than one. Time and money are usually the two biggest factors when it comes to making decisions for a business. And, in the long run, I believe the cattle raisers that choose to use our new service will find they have saved both time and money.”

Because the facilities at Warehouse Feed were used as a sale barn for many years and the pens and receiving area are still in place, Fambro said, they are perfect to use as a receiving station.

Kyle’s father, Dr. Neil Fambro, has owned the Warehouse Feed facilities since 2005; it’s where he also has his veterinarian clinic. Kyle’s grandfather, Jack Fambro, owned the feed store from 1986 to 2005. During its sale barn days, there was even a café at the facility where the veterinarian clinic is now located.

Kay Meadows, who worked in the office at the sale barn in 1969-1970, said they had sales on Fridays back then, usually starting at noon and ending around 3:30 or 4 p.m.

“The guys would come eat, and then the sale usually started about 12,” she said. “There was usually a pretty good crowd, you know, guys coming to buy cattle and stuff like that. There used to be pickups and trailers packed in the parking lot. You had to get there early to get a parking place.”

Fambro says while he doesn’t think they’ll ever have sales at the barn again, the new service is a good in-between option for local cattle raisers.

“I think, in a way, it kind of pays homage to what this place used to be,” he said. “It’s really neat to realize this is a little piece of history here in Breckenridge and Stephens County. And then kind of see it, in a way, work how it used to – but not exactly.”

Fambro said the credit for the idea of using the facility as a pick up station goes to a friend named Will Harper. He said Harper called him with the idea. Then Harper talked to the owner of Wichita Falls sale barn about the idea, and he liked the idea, too. The owner of the Wichita Falls sale barn came down to meet with Kyle and his dad, look over the facilities, and work out the arrangement.

Fambro said although they have had a positive response from customers they’ve told about the service so far, it’s really hard to say what kind of volume to expect in the beginning. He said he thinks it’s a great idea, but it’ll be one of those things that will be slow growing.

“I think customers are going to have to try us out and see how it works for them,” he said. “The big thing is convenience; I think that’s the big selling point of it. I think it’s just much easier for somebody to be able to come right here locally and drop it off with somebody they know.”


Story by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: Warehouse Feed manager Kyle Fambro stands inside the old check-in booth used during cattle sales at the facility years ago. He will be using the booth to check in cattle scheduled to be picked up by Wichita Livestock Sales. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)


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