The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed many industry’s down in Oklahoma, but one is seeing the opposite effect.
Sales at the Oklahoma Stockyards are nearing record highs already this year.
In just the first few weeks of 2021, around 22,000 head of cattle were sold.
It’s a sight becoming a lot more common these days. Semis lined up at the Oklahoma National Stockyards. Cattle are going in every direction.
“It’s really been spectacularly exciting and hopping,” said Kelli Payne, President of the Oklahoma National Stockyards.
Food chain disruptions early on in the pandemic did bring a slight hiccup to operations. A hick up that would be very short lived.
“Once farmers and ranchers figured out (that) things are going to be OK, with supply chain disruptions, we just kept rollin’,” said Payne. “We like to say AG doesn’t stop and it certainly didn’t in 2020.”
Payne has a few ideas of what is bringing a boom to business. For many farmers and ranchers, the Oklahoma National Stockyards is nostalgic.
COVID-19, Payne believes, may have changed people’s habits.
“Families made the best of being home together and to sit down with your family and have a meal, preferably beef from my perspective was a really nice welcome,” said Payne. “Beef sales have shown a strong resilience through the pandemic and we hope that that continues.”
It’s clear the world’s largest stocker and feeder cattle market is here to say. Not even a pandemic can slow the Spirt of Oklahoma.
“It’s a testament to the pride of farmers and ranchers and the commission companies that are here and the level of customer service that they provide,” said Payne.
Sales take place every Monday and Tuesday at the Stockyards. Cattle is accepted 24/7.