"I have always been around cattle in my professional career, but it was never enough for me to sit on the bench and watch other cattlemen participate." - Corbitt Wall, DV Auction
He’s raised cattle, sold cattle, and for many years been a personality behind the market reports for the beef industry. Corbitt Wall, an eastern New Mexico/west Texas hybrid native, has made a name for himself through his regular commentaries of the cattle market breakdowns.
After graduating with an undergrad and master’s degree from West Texas A&M University, Wall started working the USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service. During his 19 years there, Wall rotated through multiple states primarily working for AMS’ Livestock & Grain Market News.
“I was Officer-in-Charge of the multi-species office in New Holland, Pa., and in the Regional Market News Office in St. Joseph, Mo., where I carved a niche in feeder cattle as author of the National Feeder Cattle Summary for 15 years,” he says.
Currently, Wall resides in Marysville, Mo., with his three daughters and works as the Commercial Cattle Manager/Livestock Market Analyst for DV Auction. The broadcast auction company covers hundreds of production and commercial cattle sales a year, and is also, “the driver behind Cattle Market Central which is the first and only fully automated real-time cattle market reporting system.” says Wall.
In collaboration with Cattle Market Central and DV Auction, Drovers CattleNetwork now broadcasts “Cowboy Cattle Chat,” a three minute run through the markets by Wall every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
1. How did you get started in the beef industry?
I had to kick the manure off my boots before they would let me into kindergarten class. My great-grandfather used to take a horse and a dog down Missouri country lanes, stopping at farms along the way and buying whatever cattle they had for sale until he had enough to ship them to the East St. Louis Stockyards. He eventually moved west and based his cattle buying operations out of Benkelman, Neb. My grandfather returned from the service during WWII and saw opportunity in eastern New Mexico. He built the first cattle auction in Clayton, N.M. in the 1940’s which is mostly the same facility that still runs today.
My childhood was spent helping my father straighten up stocker cattle to graze on New Mexico ranches and wheat fields, when he wasn’t buying, selling, and trading all classes of cattle throughout the five state area. On my mother’s side, my grandfather’s grandfather homesteaded a ranch south of Clayton that is still in family ownership today.
2. What is one interesting fact most people don’t know about you?
All I ever really wanted to be was a cattle auctioneer. I was drawn to it at an early age, traveling with my dad to salebarns. I attended Missouri Auction School at 19 and within a few weeks of returning I found myself trembling behind the microphone at the Amarillo Livestock Auction, for my first taste. During college, I sold every week at a small cattle auction that my dad and I owned and operated. This gave me the opportunity to “pick it up” and I’ve been selling here and there ever since. I’ve filled in as auctioneer at salebarns all over the country in my travels, including a regular gig at a bi-annual feeder cattle sale in the state of Vermont. However, calling bids at a salebarn every week hasn’t fit into my schedule for many years. For now, I mostly just own and operate Free Auction Service of Maysville, Mo.
3. If you had the chance to sit down and talk to one person in the entire world you normally couldn’t talk to, who would it be? What would you talk about?
This may be disappointing, but I’d like to chat with Hank Williams and see what kind of man could make such an impact on American culture and write and perform music that is still being enjoyed so many years later…all without living to see the age of 30 years old.
4. What’s your favorite beef dish?
I am your typical meat and potatoes kind of guy, and beef is definitely my favorite kind of meat. I try to have a finished calf ready for custom slaughter a couple times a year. My favorite is still just a simple rib-eye (not too thick, I’m not that big of a Texan) that is well thawed and lightly sprinkled with some seasoned salt and lemon pepper. Throw it on the grill and eat it hot with no steak sauce or ketchup!
5. What is your proudest accomplishment?
Raising my daughters in and around a cattle environment. For so many of us that are transferred away from our home farm or ranch, it becomes easier just to put those experiences away for storytelling. I have always been around cattle in my professional career, but it was never enough for me to sit on the bench and watch other cattlemen participate.
As soon as I was able to own cattle, once again, I couldn’t wait and it seemed to fill a void in my life. My only hobby (besides traveling) is my small stocker operation that is made up of only around 100 owned and rented acres of grass. I put together 2 or 3 loads of yearlings every year with the help of my girls. I mostly buy mismanaged or upgrading calves (because they’re cheap) and I enjoy trying to make them reach their potential. No matter the weather conditions, I can always seem to get one of my princesses to grab a hot-shot and help me push a few through the chute. It’s something we enjoy and the way we want to live our lives. Plus I’ve always thought that other cattle people can tell someone who has never; bought one, sold one, fed one, doctored one, or drug one off!