PHILIP, S.D. – New owners of Philip Livestock Market are no strangers to the area. The Slovek families are known for generations of ranching and farming. And now, one is adding auction market owner to that chore list. Casey Slovek and wife April worked their first sale as owners of Philip Livestock Market this week.
“It was my first time on the auction block and I enjoyed it,” said Slovek. “The market is good – probably as high as we’ve ever seen – and it’s nice to see people happy and making money. And the people around here at the sale barn made this first sale easier too.”
The Sloveks, along with kids 12-year-old Connor and 8-year-old Austin, have always been a working unit, ranching and farming and that won’t change with the addition of the sale barn.
“I was born and raised here, been in Philip my whole life,” said Slovek. “The kids love being around cattle, working cattle and running equipment. We do everything. April is there on sale day. She’s part-time, a couple days a week or whenever she’s needed.”
Slovek said for as long as he’s been selling cattle, it’s always been at Philip. He credits the people who have been or are a part of the facility.
“I’ve always liked the way they sorted and represented the catt;e,” he shared. “The people who work there, all the employees, are just wonderful, hard-working, honest people. A lot of the employees have been here for 20, 30 and 40 years. There’s a lot of history here.”
Baxter Anders, who purchased the market a few years ago, said the change in ownership will free up more of his time for family while still owning the Belle Fourche Livestock Market. He said it has been a rewarding business and he’s happy to see it stay local.
“Casey is a local person, from right there in Philip,” said Anders. “The Slovek name has sold a lot of cattle in Philip over the years.”
Sale days, special offerings and overall run of the place remains the same, said Slovek who is a strong believer in price transparency, and believes the auction method of buying and selling is where a true representation of that is found.
“We don’t plan on changing much of anything,” said Slovek. “We’ll keep on taking care of customers. Sale days are every Tuesday like always.” He added, “I’m pretty confident in this business. There are a lot of good people out there. Add the quality of cattle out here – it’s just excellent. There is as good of cattle raised in this part of the country as there are anywhere. And the auction way is the best way, that’s for sure.”