Moooo-ving the bulls

The annual Fallon All-Breeds Bull Sale will have a new name and format this year, but the main attraction will remain the same.

The annual Fallon All-Breeds Bull Sale will have a new name and format this year, but the main attraction will remain the same.
Photo by Steve Ranson.

The annual February bull sale, which has been on the map for buyers and consignors for more than half a century, has undergone a complete makeover for next week’s event including a new name, location and format.

The Great Basin Bull Sale is making its new home at Churchill County’s Rafter 3C Arena that opened last spring. The three-day sale opens with the Great Basin Cow Dog Trial on Feb. 16 followed by team branding and a dance later in the day on Feb. 17, and the sale beginning at 1 p.m. on Feb. 18. A vendor show is planned for all three days.

The Nevada Cattlemen’s Association formerly ran the sale from marketing to working with buyers and sellers who descended upon Fallon.

“Our organization is more of a policy organization,” said Martin Paris, the NCA’s executive director.

Paris said the cattlemen’s group has partnered with DKC LLC, who will assume management of the new bull sale. After 57 years, he said the association has mixed feelings about the different direction the bull sale is taking. With Snyder Livestock in Yerington discontinuing their bull sale, Paris said it seemed like good timing to bring the Yerington and Fallon sales together.

With two people on staff at the NCA, Paris said it was becoming more difficult to organize a good sale and to solicit more volunteers.

“It was getting too big,” Paris said. “It’s time to turn it over to a different entity. We enjoyed doing different aspects (of the sale), and we met some good people.”

The NCA executive director said the Great Basin Bull Sale will also have many features that are incorporated with the Red Bluff, Calif, sale such as the branding and expanded number of vendors.

Last year’s Fallon sale resulted in 64 bulls being sold for an average of $3,233. Prior to the 2022 sale, cattlemen expressed optimism that prices, which have been steady during the past five years, would be consistent for the rest of the year.

Jesse Segura, operations deputy of the Rafter 3C Arena, and Jim Barbee, Churchill County manager, have been laying down the groundwork for the first Great Basin Bull Sale since the last two quarters of 2022.

Barbee touts the diversity of events for the 3C Arena and feels the bull sale is a good setup for one of the first events of 2023.

“There’s a lot of interest for it (the sale) this year and for next year,” Segura added.

Buyers will be able to check out the bulls all day Friday and Saturday morning. Instead of buyers bidding on the bulls in person like they did at the Fallon Livestock Exchange for years, they will see recorded segments on each bull.

“Western Video is a partner,” Barbee added. “There will be less stress and fewer issues for the animals. This will make the sale move quicker and smoother.”

In the past, the Fallon All-Breeds Bull Sale normally attracted between 105 to 160 bulls. Both Segura and Barbee said they’re expecting about 140 to 150 bulls.

Overall, Paris and the NCA said the bull sale’s new format will better serve its members, buyers, and consignors.

“Some bulls will be sold off test, but consignors will have the option to consign traditional range-ready bulls as well,” the NCA said in a prior statement.

Established in 1935, the NCA is a nonprofit trade association that provides a united front for Nevada’s cattle industry.

The NCS states its “mission is to promote a dynamic and profitable Nevada beef industry which represents the interests of its producers and consistently meets the consumer’s needs while increasing Nevada’s market share.”

As the voice for Nevada’s cattlemen, the NCA ensues private property, vested water and grazing rights are protected through public awareness.

“The Association feels strongly that the future of rural Nevada depends on healthy viable land produced by Nevada ranchers,” the mission statement added.


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