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Published February 05, 2013, 08:52 AM

Northern Livestock Auction in Minot set to close

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — The only livestock auction company in Minot is going out of business, though a co-owner still hopes it can reopen somewhere else under new ownership.

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — The only livestock auction company in Minot is going out of business, though a co-owner still hopes it can reopen somewhere else under new ownership.

Northern Livestock Auction has been a staple of the northwestern North Dakota ranching scene for more than half a century, but it is being forced to close to make way for new BNSF Railway tracks. Northern Livestock held its final weekly animal auction on Jan. 29 and scheduled a sale of gates and other equipment Tuesday, Agweek reported.

"It's kind of sad," co-owner Roger Sundsbak said. "I've met so many good people. It's been quite a ride."

Sundsbak said a party whom he declined to identify is interested in buying the business and re-establishing it in a different location, but financing must be arranged and he does not know if that will happen.

Northern Livestock has handled about 60,000 animals annually in recent years, primarily cattle. Ranchers who did business there will need to transport their animals as many as 100 additional miles to other livestock auction yards.

Northern Livestock had six full-time employees and employed as many as 34 people part time on sales days. Most of the employees lost their jobs last month. A few will remain on staff until March 15, the deadline BNSF set for Northern Livestock to vacate the leased property on a hill overlooking the North Dakota State Fairgrounds.

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