Monday, January 30, 2023  
A Short History of Eastern Missouri Commission Co.  11/03/12 8:03:35 PM Printer Friendly VersionPrinter Friendly Version

(if anyone has an historic photos or information about the Eastern Missouri Livestock and the maret in Bowling Green contact Jon)

(Story on EMCC history reprinted here from The Cattleman's Advocate monthly newspaper) Eastern Missouri Commission Company Mindful Of The Past With An Eye For The Future. Many are thoroughly familiar with Eastern Missouri Commission Company (EMCC) located in Bowling Green, MO, as they have chosen to conduct their livestock marketing here for several years. Others are new to the market in Bowling Green having just recently discovered the market. The Eastern Missouri Livestock Auction as it is today has an interesting story rooted in two separate stockyards giving an insight to its make up today. Literature is filled with quotes that often repeat the basic idea: “you don’t know were you are going if you don’t know where you’ve been.” If this story was told would it give an insight to the possibilities of its future? EMCC’s 2004 marketing year was yet another record breaking year marketing over 71,300 head of cattle. Weekly offerings of less than 1000 head were rare with several weeks offering well over 2500. This allowed EMCC to enhance its position with numerous order buyers as a consistent source of cattle. A predictable volume of high quality healthy cattle, sold in a timely manor, has contributed enormously to attracting orders with better money. The cattle market nationally, as well as locally, was historically high, but all cattle markets are not created equal. Many customers at Bowling Green could attest to EMCC’s successes by comparing experiences with other outlets. At one point during the summer, one customer sold heavy 800# yearling steers, netting more dollars per head than his fat steers that sold the previous week direct to a packer. Each week, new consignors find their way to the stockyards from progressively further and further away. Several new buyers have also added EMCC as a regular procurement point. This is all recent history. To get the full understanding of the Bowling Green Stockyard’s story it’s best to start much earlier. It’s been told that livestock has been sold at this same location since 1937. The management and ownership have seen many changes over the years. Through much of the 70’s it was successfully run by a notable cattleman named Charlie Day. Along with cattle, it was recognized as a large feeder pig sale and Pike County consistently ranked at the top in hog numbers for the state. The early 80’s saw harder times which found local farmers and businessmen rallying behind the market. In 1982, 300 locals threw in together to purchase the market as a cooperative to ensure a place to continue livestock commerce in the area. It was during this time that the market truly flourished with active community interest. Under the new management provided initially by Loren Sutten and later his sons, the market grew again with numerous building projects that largely define its character today. Things went smoothly for the cooperative market until the late 90’s. The cooperative nature of the business that was an asset through the 80’s and early 90’s became a liability in the late 90’s after numerous management changes and competition increased for available livestock. During the late 70’s and 80’s, in a different part of the state, another market was flourishing. During this time, very few sale barns of any size operated in the south, most of the calves and yearlings of Southern Missouri migrated north to farmer feeders in Northern Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa. Ideally located between these two regions, Columbia Livestock Auction (CLA) grew under the ownership of Logan Heathman, Bandy Jacobs, L. W. Angell and his sons, Luther and Charles. In season, it often ran several sales a week including a large fat cattle sale in which upwards of a dozen different order buyers would fill orders for the many packing plants covering Missouri and the surrounding states. Over the years the situation changed, as new markets were opened throughout the south, heading off the migration of southern cattle to northern markets. During the 80’s, numerous packers closed due to the unending harassment of regulatory changes and stiffer competition from national packers. Many farmers at this time, chose to specialize in row crops, later abandoning feeding all together. As a result, these changes, CLA’s market slowly declined in much of the 90’s. The ideal location in the 70’s and 80’s became a terminal liability in the 90’s as Columbia’s congestion and urban sprawl took it’s toll on the market’s home trade territory, eventually swallowing most of it. During the fall of 1999, the stories of these two markets converge. CLA’s 3rd generation, consisting of Mike VanMaanen, Justin and Jon Angell, were operating in a market with a vanishing trade territory. Bowling Green, sitting in an outstanding trade territory, but under the cooperative structure of ownership, lacked the agility to compete for market share. The board of directors in Bowling Green, mindful of their original purpose of keeping a viable market in the area, agreed to lease the Bowling Green facility with an option to buy. This merger proved to make a winning combination. Starting from a market volume of around 23,000 head in 1999, EMCC has consistently grown with volume, increasing over 10% per year. With this short history of EMCC, can any predictions of its future be made? I think so. History tells us the cattle business will continue to evolve. That same history will show you that the Bowling Green market and its owners have demonstrated the ability to adapt and flourish with change. What ever changes do come, it is safe to predict that the auction method of price discovery will play an important role in the industry. This publication will allow us to communicate with our customers with timely information that will benefit us all. With the increasing rapid changes in the livestock industry, this paper will be an outlet for information. As your agent we will enhance the buyer/seller relationship, conduct quality livestock trades, and keep all working together for the common goal of a pleasurable market experience. At EMCC a common motto for our team is to remember that “we are working for our customers and with our buyers.” It would be reasonable to predict in 10 to 20 years, the changes will be many, but I am confident the Bowling Green market will be positioned to provide the best possible service to its customers. For like the years of past, it is the local sale barns that keep an option open to the sale of the day and the promise of tomorrow. ##

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