cattle markets

Study Shows Livestock Auctions Are Growing in Importance

Dan Beef, Cattle, Livestock, Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), Marketing


A new economic impact study shows that livestock auction markets continue to be important for the growth and vitality of rural communities. The study, which updates a study from 2017, of an average fixed-facility livestock auction market revealed the market provides approximately $2 million in total value-added dollars to its local community. This result is up from $1 million identified in the 2017 Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) Economic Impact Report.

The case livestock auction market, located in a rural Missouri town with a population of less than 5,000, sells all classes of cattle in a weekly sale. The auction market was selected as a representative example of LMA member-livestock auctions based on type of operation, gross sales of livestock, rural location of market and population of city. LMA represents 85% of the livestock auction markets in the U.S., with cattle being the largest per-head species sold through livestock auction markets each year.


Key findings also revealed that the market provided 17 jobs, generating $888,000 in labor income to the community’s economy. Additionally, the market contributes $447,000 in local taxes and $108,000 in federal taxes. Of the total value-added number, contributions were also made by the on-site café, which further provides labor income, state, local and federal taxes.

“Livestock auction markets today remain critical to helping our rural communities continue to thrive,” said Kristen Parman, LMA Vice President of Membership Services. They generate a competitive sale environment which results in cash for local livestock producers. That cash equals dollars spent in town and investments back into their businesses and operations.”

In collaboration with LMA, the study was completed by Decision Innovation Solutions in Urbandale, Iowa.