JC Livestock Sales Inc.
Junction City, Kansas
By Audrey Hambright
For the Langvardt Family, the livestock auction market business has been a family affair from day one. Vern and Marie Langvardt, along with their son Howard and his new wife Ann, purchased JC Livestock Sales nearly 45 years ago, opening in February 1966. Vern clerked and managed the sale barn with Howard who was the main auctioneer and manager. Marie and Ann worked in the office settling buyers and writing checks to sellers.
It didn’t take long for Howard and Ann’s sons Karl, Mitch and Lynn, to become involved in the family business. They took to it quite handily penning cattle on horseback when they first learned to ride.
Upon high school graduation, all three sons went their own way, enrolling in different colleges and taking on different responsibilities.
“We each went different directions, yet found our way back to the business that we love and have grown up with,” Mitch said.
Now they work together along with their own families to manage the auction market, including the Clay Center location, which was purchased in 1996. Lynn took over the auctioneering portion, using his abilities he learned from his dad as a boy in addition to managing the Clay Center barn. Mitch manages the Junction City location while Karl helps oversee both locations, helping to find prospective sellers and buyers. Ann continues to work in the office settling buyers, entering tickets and taking care of several miscellaneous tasks in-between. The grandchildren work the sales when they can in between school and activities. The oldest grandsons, Trent and Tanner, are currently students at Kansas State University.
The daughters-in-law contribute to the business when they’re able to as well. Karl’s wife, Amy, helps clerk the sale and settle buyers. According to Amy, at one time there were four generations working together.
“Family really is everything to the Langvardts, as it is to most people in agriculture,” Amy said.
She was also on-hand for the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Regional Meeting hosted by JC Livestock Sales in early October and emphasized the importance of the location for the training.
“As sale barn owners, we recognize that BQA benefits us all,” she said. “If producers follow the BQA guidelines and recommendations, it helps at the sale barn to market their good cattle. In turn, the buyers are satisfied, the cattle perform to their optimum level and ultimately the consumer is much happier with their beef.”
In Clay Center, a weekly cattle sale is held on Tuesday, and a sheep and goat sale is held on the first Saturday of the month. Wednesday is sale day in Junction City. Initially the sale was held on Saturdays, but moved to Wednesdays to better adjust to the schedules of the feedyards, buyers and producers.
Howard Langvardt passed away in February of this year. The family misses him greatly and was humbled by the outpouring of condolences they received in Howard’s respect. They continue to work daily to continue his legacy.