This week is crunch time for the builders and operators of the first new livestock market in Washington State built in thirty years. Final construction work and inspection by Washington State Department of Agriculture officials is being performed at the Central Washington Livestock Market located east of Moses Lake. And according to partner Larry Campbell, the goal is to have everything in place by the first sale.
CAMPBELL: We got to start by the Fifth of October so people can know where they can bring their calves. You know, if they don't then there is no use having a sale I guess.
The push to get started by the fall run stems from the passion to have another livestock market in Central Washington, and a long regulatory process that has created a hurry up and wait turned push towards the end type of scenario.
CAMPBELL: There was nobody against it when we applied for a license. But we still had to go through the ninety days, then we went before a judge, and then we had to wait another ninety days. And it seems like we went through the whole deal even though there was nobody against us having a sale, we still had to wait that 180 days where we couldn't do nothing there.
To explain why there are a lot of hopes riding on the success of the Central Washington Livestock Market is to explain what has happened to sale markets in recent years. Four in Central Washington & Walla Walla, Quincy, Okanogan, and Ellensburg & have closed their doors. Prior to the Moses Lake site coming on board, cattle producers in Washington had only two options for sale yards & Davenport and Toppenish. Campbell says that might be the reason W.S.D.A. gave its full support of the project.
CAMPBELL: There's a need for one sale yard kind of centrally located to replace all four of them. People, they can only go so far and there's not really a way for people to buy cattle in this area. So there's will be a lot more people get back into cows in a small way if they got the access and the place to come and do it.
But just as important, the new livestock market should provide a boost to current livestock producers big and small, who for the reasons mentioned by Campbell such a distance, felt it wasn't worth the time or effort to take some of their livestock to market.
CAMPBELL: There's still cattle out, a lot more than people think. This will help promote the cattle business having this sale yard out here.
Events include Wednesday cattle and small livestock sales starting October Fifth, an October Eighth tack sale, special sales every second Saturday of the month, and horse sales every third Saturday of the month. For more information on the Central Washington Livestock Market, the contact phone number is (509) 764-9000.