MOSES LAKE, Wash. — Northcentral Washington hasn’t had a livestock sale yard in years, but that’s changing with the Aug. 14 grand reopening of Central Washington Livestock LLC near Moses Lake.
Tyler Morgan, 39, and his wife, Jaime, 37, bought the shuttered business in May and have been fixing it up. They rebuilt corrals and outside facilities and say the pavilion was in good shape.
“There hasn’t been a livestock sale yard in this area for a long time, about 12 years. The area is underserved. It gave us the idea to try to open it back up to serve the local community and dairymen to save on hauling and stress on cattle,” Tyler Morgan said.
The facility is visible to motorists on the north side of Interstate 90, five miles east of Moses Lake.
The nearest sales yards are in Davenport, 83 miles to the northeast, and in Toppenish, 107 miles to the southwest.
Born and raised in Sunnyside, Morgan grew up around sales yards in the Lower Yakima Valley. He managed Northwestern Livestock, a horse sale and stockyards in Hermiston, Ore., until the owner, Gary Miller, died several years ago. Morgan then became a cow buyer for Toppenish Livestock, a slaughter and packing house.
At the revived Central Washington Livestock, the Morgans will hold auctions starting at 11 a.m. Aug. 14 and every Wednesday thereafter. They foresee dairy and beef cows as their main business but also will auction goats, pigs and sheep.
They will have their first catalog and open consignment horse sale at 10 a.m Oct. 5 and every February and June following.
“We’ll be just a sale barn where people come in to sell and buy. We will run the auctions and help market the cattle that come in,” Morgan said. “I bring my experience as a buyer and a manager and have connections in the buying world to have a good cow market at Moses Lake.”
The new sales yard will serve Grant, Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties but also all the way to Pasco and even draw from Pullman, Morgan said, noting Pasco is about as close to Moses Lake as it is to Toppenish.
“We have looked at estimated numbers of cattle per county and determined this is a good spot. It’s the center of the state,” he said.
Gary Adams, 73, a retired rancher in Coulee City, is helping spread the word and says he’s received positive feedback from some 50 ranchers.
Daryl Asmussen, 80, Tonasket, ran livestock sale yards in Okanogan and Tonasket that closed about 18 years ago.
“There used to be a pile of yards all over the state, 16 or 17. They all kind of quit. Lack of cattle. Lack of people to operate them and transportation and communications have gotten a lot better. It’s not so hard now to haul 100 miles,” Asmussen said.
He wishes the Morgans well and says ranchers will be happy to have the new sales yard, but that a lot of feeder cattle are sold directly off ranches and that the yard in Davenport is not all that much farther.
“Any time you get competition, it makes things better. But we will see how they do,” Asmussen said.