Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station
A ranch family standing in a field.
Two families with generations of ranching in their backgrounds are now part of the new faces at Lemmon Livestock. Pictured are Rowdy and Miranda Benson and their children (left to right) Tymber, Creed, Remi and Retro. The Ham Family, Brady and Kristen (not pictured) are also part of the team.(Courtesy Photo)

A Legacy Continues For New Owners At Lemmon Livestock

LEMMON, S.D. – A long-time business in Lemmon has new faces as owners/operators.

Lemmon Livestock, Inc., owned by Paul Huffman for nearly three decades, will now be guided by two locals, Rowdy Benson and Brady Ham.

The small town of Lemmon is located on the South and North Dakota state line. It’s big cattle and wheat country, where both Benson and Ham were raised and who are raising their families in the same spot.

Benson’s family has a long history with the auction where multiple family members over generations have worked in various capacities.

He grew up on the family ranch north of Thunder Hawk, S.D., not far from Lemmon. His children are the fifth generation of Bensons on the place.

Ranch family
Brady and Kristen Ham and family. (Courtesy Photo)

Benson and his wife Miranda have four children, Tymber, Creed, Remi and Retro.

 

He told The Hot Barn Report, “I’ve worked at Lemmon Livestock since high school, shares Benson. “I’m grateful to Paul for giving me the opportunity to have an auctioneer career and now the opportunity to own the sale barn. It’s always been in in the back of my mind.”

The Ham family has also been ranching in the Lemmon area for generations. Brady and his wife Kristen have four children.  Kristen has her own business, Ranch Chic Corral, and helps on the family ranch where all the kids, “like some part of the cattle business and help out on the ranch,” says Ham.

Both Ham and Benson believe in keeping local ownership and management of the sale barn, noting the business provides a solid place to market livestock to a broad customer-base. At the same time, the business draws local community members to its well-known café every week and the business is a long-time contributor and supporter to community events and needs.

Huffman has built up the sale barn’s customer base over the years with an emphasis on providing an efficiently designed intake, fresh feed and water, and knowledgeable handling practices – all of which keeps pounds on cattle after they arrive at Lemmon Livestock.

“The dollars are in the pounds so we take shrinkage very seriously,” said Huffman.  “Our customers take good care of those cattle from birth, putting pounds on. The main goal at Lemmon Livestock is to hold that weight until they cross the scale at sale time.”

In ranch countryCafe at a livestock auction market known for its yearlings, Benson says he’s looking forward to the August/September sale schedule. He credits the optimism and can-do atmosphere at Lemmon Livestock to long-time office staffers Vicki Fogerty (office manager) and Jody Johnson who were with Huffman for 23 years and will remain. In addition, he says quality yard staff and fieldmen make it work. And buyers keep coming to take a seat ringside. All of those things, he says, is what makes Lemmon Livestock a competitive marketing option.

That, and the café.

“There is no better café in a sale barn in the entire world than right here at Lemmon Livestock,” says Benson.

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