After more than two decades of consecutive Monday morning livestock sales, Jerry and Sally Weekes marked their last sale at Platte Valley Livestock as they look forward to retirement.
The family bought the livestock auction yard 27 years ago and turned it into a family business. All three of their children — Jera, Trinity and Josh — grew up working in many of the positions at the yard. Josh has stayed involved with the running of the operation.
“My sister has worked here from the beginning, she ran the office for them and I’ve had every job here,” their daughter, Trinity Neilan, said. “My brother has worked for them since they bought it.”
Trinity’s 7-year-old daughter, Ava Henton, has also been helping out every Monday since as long as she can remember. Ava said she has done a lot of things but mostly she pushes cattle through the alley on the catwalk.
“My daughter is for sure gonna miss it when she would come every Monday,” Neilan said. “Every time she was out of school and during the summer, she would be here. She was thrilled to be able to get out of school for this last time.”
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Andy Sanchez has been working the yard with the Weekes for all 27 years.
“It’s been a good place to work, I’m gonna miss it but it’s time to call it quits.”
Sally said that she has been intending to retire for some time now and Jerry has also reached that decision in the wake of an accident he had in the fall of 2020, which led to a February surgery.
“He’s coming back and getting stronger every day, but it’s still time,” Sally said.
She said everyone has been extremely loyal to the business. Without Jerry on stage in the ring, people have continued to come to the sale. Once Jerry decided to call it quits, Sally said the property was sold and plans were made for the final auction day that the Weeks would oversee.
The Weekes family will continue to stay involved in the cattle business. They raise some of their own cattle and both Jerry and Josh are video auction representatives. Jerry will continue as a Northern Livestock representatives and Josh has recently become a Superior Livestock video representatives.
The livestock market will continue with the same Monday sale intentions, beginning April 25 under new ownership as Sugar Valley Stockyards.
Nicole Heldt is a reporter with the Star-Herald, covering agriculture. She can be reached at 308-632-9044 or by email at email@example.com.