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End of era for Indiana livestock auction house
 
By Stan Maddux
Indiana Correspondent

FRANKLIN, Ind. – It’s the end of an era for a livestock auction house serving farmers in central Indiana for well over a half century. The Johnson County Sales Pavilion had its final auction on June 14.
Owner Rick Teverbaugh has sold the auction house and the five acres surrounding it to a buyer who plans to turn the roughly 20,000-square-foot metal barn into a heating and air conditioning business.
Teverbaugh has owned the auction house, established in 1950, for the past 21 years.
The 67-year-old Teverbaugh said the decision to put the property up for sale was tough but one that had to be made given his advancing age and other challenges.
“The business is changing. You got the labor problems. I’m getting older. All of the normal things that comes with it,” he said.
The auction house operated every Tuesday, selling roughly 100 to 200 beef cows, 50 to 75 goats and fewer numbers of sheep and hogs each week.
The auction house was closed for only two weeks a year during the Christmas season.
Teverbaugh said he will continue being a livestock dealer, buying mostly beef cattle from local farmers and selling them to slaughterhouses out of his office in nearby Mooresville. Some of his brokered animals go directly to customers. The rest are held on his preconditioning lots and fed for various lengths of time until moved.
“Some we keep for six months. Some we keep for three months. Some we keep for 30 days. It’s just an ongoing deal,” he said.
A livestock broker has been his occupation for life as it was for his father and grandfather. “I’m staying in the livestock business. I’m just quitting the sale barn part of it,” he said.
Teverbaugh said he enjoyed the livestock barn portion of his career but he and most of his dozen or so employees are getting close to retirement age. Finding replacement workers experienced at handling livestock has become increasingly difficult.
He said the labor pool for drawing part-time workers to the auction house has shrunk as the number of dairy and livestock farms in the surrounding area dwindled since he first opened the doors.
None of his three daughters or their husbands wanted to take over the operation.
“It gets to the point where you kind of want to change some things. It’s just come time to do it. That’s the bottom line. It’s just the time to do it,” he said.
The auction house’s closure might come as a shock to the community south of Indianapolis, given its long roots under several different owners.
Teverbaugh said farmers can still take their animals to other auction houses in the central part of the state, with the nearest probably being in Knightstown.
“There’s going to be people that’s going to have to go probably 40 to 50 miles down to sell their livestock. It’s just part of the changing of the world,” he said.
7/5/2022