DENVER — Four industry professionals joined the Livestock Marketeers Hall of Fame during the National Western Stock Show.
The Livestock Marketeers — an informal fraternity of livestock fieldmen, auctioneers, sale managers and related livestock business leaders — met for their 48th Annual Banquet at the National Western Club on Jan. 19. The event is hosted by American Live Stock.
The 2013 honorees included Merrill Anderson of Newman, IL, and Weslaco, TX; Steve Dorran of Timnath, CO; and Phil Stoll of Fort Worth, TX. Arvin Arthun of Billings, MT, was honored posthumously.
Master of ceremonies was J. Neil Orth, executive vice president of the American-International Charolais Association and a 1984 Hall of Fame inductee. He opened the event with a salute to legendary auctioneer and 1980 honoree Ray Sims, who passed away on Sept. 18, 2012.
The Livestock Marketeers group was initiated in 1965 by Harry Green, Ross Miller and Claud Willett. Their purpose was to form a fraternal organization of livestock professionals, and to make annual awards in order to encourage younger members of the industry to succeed in their chosen profession.
Seventy Marketeers were in attendance for 2013.
Born near Broadlands, IL, in 1939, Merrill Anderson grew up on Snip, the family farm raising Shorthorn cattle, Duroc and Berkshire hogs, Cheviot sheep and Standardbred and show horses. It was an excellent beginning for his career in the livestock industry.
Merrill attended the University of Kentucky on a basketball scholarship, where he recalls that the first person he met was Gene McDonald, who later served as field representative for Shorthorn World and worked with the great herds of that breed.
“Gene was and still is my greatest supporter, first encouraging me to get into the business,” noted the auctioneer.
Returning to the farm after his military service in the U.S. Army, Merrill married Lyn Coolley and had one son, Jim. He attended the Superior School of Auctioneering, Decatur, IL, in 1961.
“Ham and Hugh James, Paul Good, Ray Sims, Leroy Van Dyke and Neil Rich were the instructors, and they were impressive,” Merrill said.
Starting his professional auction career in the purebred swine business, Merrill started with the Berkshire breed and then added Chester Whites to his book; he went from 3 sales to 70 auctions in 1965 alone.
Shorthorn cattle were another career highlight, including the popular Leveldale/Alexander sales. Merrill later helped guide early Simmental sales in the U.S. In 1970, he formed C/A Livestock with partners Gordon Phillips, Hays Walker and Casey Anderson, marketing Simmental cattle at the height of the breed’s explosion.
Merrill loved the horse business, too, and embarked on a career selling Arabian and Standardbred horses at the highest level. He had the pleasure of selling Doc and Pat Walker’s Standardbred sale near Springfield, IL, for 38 years.
“Summing this up, it was the people that opened doors for me,” Merrill wrote. “It was the men who sold advertising and guided me through every sale I had. These men make an auctioneer, not vice versa.”
“There’s no business like the auction business. It’s a wonderful fraternity, and I’m happy to be part of it. Thank you, friends.”
Merrill was unable to attend the Livestock Marketeers banquet due to illness, and sent his regrets via friend Kirby Goettsch, Aberdeen, SD; he was saluted with a toast by the Marketeers. His Hall of Fame award had been presented at his Texas home in December by Goettsch and fellow Marketeers Doug Paul, Edmond, OK; Ken Dolson, Hico, TX; and Ken Torr, Greencastle, IN.
Merrill Anderson passed away in Weslaco, TX, on Feb. 2, 2012.
Steve Dorran grew up on the West Coast of Canada, on Vancouver Island. As a young boy, he was a member of the 4-H beef club, raising, fitting and showing Angus steers. Steve’s fascination with the auction business was a result of the 4-H auctions at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver, where he sold his steers and watched the auctioneers work.
Moving to Alberta in 1972, Steve went to work at Western Breeders as a herdsman in the bull barns, moving on to the position of marketing and beef specialist.
In 1977, Steve attended the Superior School of Auctioneering in Decatur, IL. In 1979, he left Western Breeders to focus full-time on the purebred livestock marketing business as a ringman and auctioneer.
Throughout the last 33 years, Steve has conducted as many as 200 sales a year. His auction career has taken him to 38 states, seven provinces in Canada, and the Royal Sydney Show in Australia.
Some of the greatest memories of his career have been traveling and working with many of the leading marketing professionals in the purebred livestock industry. Without the skill of each individual on a marketing team, the ultimate success of a sale would never be attained. After selling many breeds and species of livestock, Steve says it has been an honor to work with and for these industry leading breeders.
While still traveling and conducting 120 sales a year, Steve has also been a volunteer at the Calgary Stampede for over 30 years. He received the honor of being named 2012 Record Stockman Canadian Livestock Industry Leader of the Year at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, CO.
“Steve Dorran is the best in the business,” said friend and 2011 honoree Terry Cotton of Angus Productions, Inc.
“Steve has sold as many million-dollar production sales as anyone in the business,” agreed Dick Beck, Sharpsburg, GA. “He’s a great auctioneer and a great friend.”
“I love what I do,” Steve told the banquet attendees. “If you find a passion for what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life.”
“This is a profession that has stood the test of time, and it’s in good hands with you young guys coming up to carry on,” he closed.
Steve and his wife, Terri, reside in Timnath, CO. Steve has five children: Jeannie is a nutritionist in Calgary; Ryan is a ringman and auctioneer in Canada; Dusty is a sales manager for a medical supply firm in Texas; Robbie is an accountant in Calgary; and Jacci is a food safety specialist in Alberta.
Phil Stoll has been associated with the Weekly Livestock Reporter since 1976. He was born and raised near Snyder in southwest Oklahoma, and graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1974. He was a member of the 1974 OSU Denver and Fort Worth livestock judging teams, and also served as vice president of the Block & Bridle Club.
Phil was one of the first part-time brush hands for Ken Holloway’s American Cattle Services, a sales management company formed in 1971 and specializing in Limousin sales. He worked part-time on weekends until graduation, when he moved to Atlanta, GA, to work for the Charolais Banner. Phil traveled 17 eastern states for the Banner, which was the official breed publication at that time.
In February 1976, Phil moved to Fort Worth and worked a short time for Western Livestock Journal.
Then he started as a field representative for the Weekly Livestock Reporter on December 1, 1976. Phil grew it from a mom-and-pop newspaper to a regionally recognized publication. He became general manager in 1994, and inherited the Reporter from owner Rosemary Gouldy in December 2002. He has been a ringman at more than 3,150 sales, working as many as 190 a year back in the 1980’s.
The Livestock Marketeers tribute was led by auctioneer and 2010 Hall of Famer Bruce Brooks, Marietta, OK, who noted how many livestock professionals had been trained by Stoll.
“He’s a fine gentleman, and we’re proud to honor him here tonight. He has the ability as a ringman to always get his man back in one more time,” Brooks said.
“Congratulations on your award,” added auctioneer Bruce Miller, Bedford, TX. “I’ve learned a lot from you, my friend.”
Delvin Heldermon, Sulphur, OK, finished the tribute with a nod to Stoll’s abilities.
“Phil’s probably the best salesman in this room,” Heldermon said. “He’s been a great friend and a great mentor. Phil Stoll is one of the very, very best that’s ever been.”
“I’ve got many friends in this room, and I’m honored to receive this prestigious award,” Phil told the Marketeers. “You younger guys, remember that your best friends are the ones you work with in the livestock industry. We are a family. We don’t need heroes, we need team players.”
Married to Sandra K. Gibson since 1994, they have two daughters, three granddaughters and four great-grandchildren.
He has lived in Springtown, TX, at Bull Central since 1987, and has remerchandised from 100 to 150 bulls a year. Almost every road agent in the business has bought or had an order from Phil to buy bulls at one time or another.
His other business interests include Bull Central Trucking, Inc., a small flatbed trucking company, and Highway Guardrail Sale Co., selling used highway guardrail to ranches and feedlots for corrals.
Honored posthumously at the 2013 Livestock Marketeers banquet with induction into the Hall of Fame, Arvin Arthun’s earlier career was in the printing industry and then bloomed into the livestock and ranching industry that he loved.
Arvin graduated from high school in Buffalo, WY, and then earned a BA degree in journalism at Arkansas State University. He became a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army and achieved the rank of Captain. He was head of the Army Reserve for the state of Wyoming for a number of years.
Arvin was part-owner of a print shop in Casper, WY. Much of his later career was spent marketing cattle for livestock publications, selling and making ads, brochures and sales catalogs. He logged thousands of miles driving around Montana and neighboring states, visiting ranches and going to livestock sales as a ringman. He worked for the Montana Farmer-Stockman, Western Beef Producer and Cotton & Associates.
When Arvin retired, he marketed cattle for Sitz Angus Ranch, devoting his expertise to the family business. He was a NILE 200 Club member for over 30 years, also serving on their board of directors. He passed away on Feb. 5, 2011.
Arvin is remembered for his love of the livestock industry, sharing the benefits of his knowledge and experience, as well as his quick wit and “Arvinisms.”
He was honored at the Livestock Marketeers banquet by Jeff Thomas, Bozeman, MT, with the assistance of Ron Frye, Three Forks, MT.
“If Arvin was here tonight, he’d be so proud,” Thomas said.
He married June Warnock, who preceded him in death in 1990. Arvin married Donna Sitz in 1996.