MOSA provides our clients with much more than just certification.

Joe Pedretti

MOSA Outreach Manager

Premier Livestock & Auctions- An Organic Livestock Auction Pioneer

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Premier Livestock & Auctions- An Organic Livestock Auction Pioneer

Joe Pedretti, MOSA Outreach Manager

Ken Stauffer never intended to get into the livestock auction business. He moved to Wisconsin from Pennsylvania in 1995 to start a dairy farm. He began a side business of selling horses and later dairy cattle, an endeavor that just kept growing. By 2001, the livestock business had grown to a point where Ken decided to discontinue dairy farming. He started to look for a new location and opportunity which eventually led him to his current location just outside of Withee, Wisconsin. In 2012, they bought the property where the business currently sits. It was a small farm that needed extensive remodeling, but it was in a great location, located right off Highway 29. In 2017, they remodeled al of the existing buildings, and built new offices and an auction ring.  “The new facility is located right in the heart of family farms in north central Wisconsin,” stated Ken.

As the business continued to grow, Ken brought in new partners Rocky Olsen and Travis Parr in 2016. Both Rocky and Travis previously managed large livestock auctions in Wisconsin. The three partners have a combined 50 years of livestock marketing background. Together they have grown the business into what it is today. They currently have auctions 4-5 days per week.

“A few years ago, we realized that the number of organic farms had increased in our area. We started to get a lot of requests to buy and sell quality organic cattle,” remembered Ken. “No other auction house was certified organic. I talked with MOSA about getting certified and added more auction days to feature organic livestock.”

Premier now has organic slaughter cow auctions every Monday, organic dairy cows on Wednesdays, special heifer auctions every third Friday of the month, featuring organic dairy heifers, and special auctions as needed. “Since February of this year, we have sold 1200 head of organic market cattle, and over 800 organic dairy cattle” said Rocky. “Organic has been tremendous for us. People came from quite a distance to sell and buy organic livestock.” The extra effort we make to be certified organic has definitely paid off.” We are now one of the largest livestock markets in Wisconsin, and the biggest dairy cattle auction in the Midwest. We have sold over 10,000 dairy cattle so far this year,” noted Rocky.

Along with selling certified organic cattle, Premier sells certified organic hay and bedding at their weekly hay auction.“The hay market has been very good and in short supply. We sell about 25 semi loads of hay per week,” (both organic and conventional).

The owners of Premier are always planning for the future and the changes the industry may bring. “We just bought another 15 acres of adjoining land for future expansion. We plan to keep expanding and promoting organic. Due to our great customer base and support, as well as out amazing staff, which we believe is the best in the business, we are getting bigger all the time,” noted Rocky.

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“We have to make a lot of extra effort to be certified organic. We enter all of the organic certificate numbers and information, and we provide two forms of ID for every animal. This is all printed on the invoice. We also have a designated organic area of the sale barn which is bedded with sawdust and stocked with certified organic hay. It works very well,” remarked Rocky.

“At Premier, we are very proactive in the livestock industry, we have to keep up with the ever-changing demands of consumers. Organic makes sense to us. It is a rapidly growing market as people are becoming more and more aware of what they eat and are putting into their bodies. We intend to be the largest Organic Auction barn in the Midwest and are promoting organic methods. Our customers are coming from near and far to maintain their organic status here at Premier. In order for the farmer to maintain their organic status , the auction barn must be certified and follow all of the regulations in order to sell as organic and to receive premium prices. If the auction barn is not certified organic, the animals lose their status once they are unloaded. We are honored to include organic in our business. Going organic has been a positive productive experience for us and MOSA has been incredible to work with,” said Ken.

For more information about Premier Livestock & Auctions, visit: http://www.premierlivestockandauctions.com/ or give them a call at: 715-229-2500.

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