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|Martin reopens West Monroe livestock auction|
Residents across north Louisiana and buyers from throughout the South took part in the reopening of the West Monroe Livestock Auction on Monday.
The auction facility has been closed for more than a year. New owner Geoff Martin, along with auctioneer Dusty Adcock, kicked off its first hog and goat sale at 9:30 a.m. Monday. The cattle sale was held at noon Monday.
More than 100 people filled arena seats to bid on animals.
"We had a good turnout today, and I think it's going to do well," Martin said. "We just want people to give us a shot, and see what we can do for them. People want to see what the market is going to do, and we're working to show them that we are here to accommodate them, and do the best job we can to sell their livestock. We want to be the local market for local people. We want to provide a good market here, with good, solid buyers. We're here to serve the public, and we'll accommodate them in any way we possibly can."
Martin was involved with West Monroe Livestock Auction about eight years ago. He has worked with cattle for most of his life.
He said West Monroe's auction has done well in the past, and he's excited to offer the market another opportunity for hog, goat and cattle sales.
Cattle sales typically draw the biggest crowds, but there are plenty of hog and goat owners who need a venue to purchase or sell hogs or goats, he said.
"We get people from Mississippi, east Texas, south Arkansas and all over Louisiana," Martin said. "Everybody has really wanted a market opened here, and we're excited for this day to finally come."
Martin and others have worked long hours for the past month to get the facility ready for its first auction sale. He expects they'll have about six more months of renovations before the facility is restored to their expectations.
"It's an old facility and we've got a lot of work ahead of us," Martin said. "This place has been around for 50 years, and then it was shut down for a year and a half, so it was rough. But we've worked hard, and it'll take about six or eight months to get it in the shape we want it. We want a nice, clean, comfortable facility for people to come and market their livestock."
On Monday, five cattle companies from across the South had representatives at the West Monroe arena purchasing cattle.
Martin has high hopes for the West Monroe Livestock Auction, and expects hundreds will visit Ouachita Parish each Monday to participate in its weekly sale.
He said the auctions have the potential to boost the local economy by attracting visitors to West Monroe.
"I think it will help everybody, because when people come, they'll buy gas and get something to eat," Martin said.
The livestock auction facility receives cattle Sunday until 10 p.m.
"A lot of people have to work on Monday and through the week, but this way they can get it done on Sunday evening," Martin said.
Martin has crews that can work cattle at the auction facility, or they can travel to locations to assist sellers in moving their cattle.
Cattle sales can last anywhere from two hours to seven hours, depending on the number of cattle.
The West Monroe Livestock Auction arena is located on Cypress Street across from J&H Boots and Jeans.
For more information, contact the facility at 396-8445, or Martin at 548-8445.