Right in the heart of Cattle Country: Dryland Cattle Trading Corp. integral to community

An aerial view of Dryland Cattle Trading Corp. shows the extensive amount of infrastructure including 180 feed and water pens that are used continually throughout the year. ECA Review/Submitted
Written by Terri Huxley

An aerial view of Dryland Cattle Trading Corp. shows the extensive amount of infrastructure including 180 feed and water pens that are used continually throughout the year. ECA Review/Submitted

Veteran’s Dryland Cattle Trading Corp. has been around for a long time, with it bringing years of experience and unique opportunities for its clients.

A multitude of infrastructure including two sorting and processing barns, 180 feed and water pens and up to 35 employees in high seasons keep this facility running at its maximum potential.

Veteran Auction Mart was purchased by Terry and Linda Schetzsle in 1989 and operated as Schetzsle Livestock Inc until it was purchased by Graham and Jen Schetzsle in 2000.

They ran the market as Schetzsle Marketing Corp. until 2005.

In the same year, Ian and Connie Goodbrand purchased the majority shares forming Dryland Cattle Trading Corp.

The active principals, Ian and Graham worked together in partnership.

In 2015 Ian and Connie Goodbrand became the sole owners of the market.

2020 marks 15 years as Dryland Cattle Trading Corp. and there are no plans to slow down any time soon.

A recent expansion may not be the final one as talk continues about rearranging and moving the loading system area away from the highway.

“We try to work really hard with the community in the sense that even the noise, instead of having loudspeakers going all day, we now use radios and headsets,” said manager Darwin Graham.

“It’s a little quieter for the town but one of the issues we’ve been having is moving the trucks off the highway and they can have easier access for loading. So we are always trying to be progressive in the area of community awareness and what we can do to make that better.”

Fall is the busiest time for the company as their staffing increases for the two sales per week schedule.

He estimates 110,000 head of feeder cattle move through the auction mart in a given year.

Their service area stretches from the local areas like Veteran, Consort, Coronation but also ventures farther to Jenner and Oyen, Castor, Vermilion and Wainwright and into Saskatchewan, just to name a few locations.

A number of other sales take place including between seven and 10 bull sales, three to four bred sales as well as weekly feeder and slaughter sales.

A panoramic view of Dryland Cattle Trading Corp.’s auction selling in action. ECA Review/Submitted

One unique feature Dryland offers is pre-weighing animals right from the moment they are unloaded.

The cattle are sorted, weighed and penned on feed and water and sold separately.

The ranchers like to see their own cattle sell this way.

“The buyers are also very comfortable with this,” said Graham Schetzle.

“This allows us to be able to market the cattle in a timely fashion for the sale. That keeps the sale snappy, the buyers happy and consigners pleased.”

This is what caused the need for expansion as feed and water pens needed to be available to make this a reality.

In a given sale day, the auction mart can go through an average of 45 lots an hour.

Access via online live streaming and in-person bids are offered as well for the person selling and/or wanting to buy.

Support outside the market Also on the grounds is Cattlemen’s Cookhouse restaurant which serves both the company and the community through catering and on-site serving.

“Every market needs a restaurant but Veteran [village] needs a restaurant so we keep the Cattleman’s Cookhouse open Mondays to Friday to serve the community because really that is what we are doing,” said Graham.

With everything going on in front of and behind the scenes, Dryland Cattle continues to be supportive of the community in a number of ways; one of which involves the local 4-H district.

Every year they host the 4-H clubs within the Coronation 4 -H District, all at no charge.

Sponsorship is another key part of their community contributions.“We try to give back as well,” he said.

Marketing option available Ranchers can choose the way they market their cattle with the most popular option being to have the cattle pre-weighed.

Another option is the overnight stand, where they are put into bedding pens overnight, then sold first thing in the morning and weighed going into the ring.

One large fall forward calf sale happens in mid-September where the calves are bought on forward delivery.

Dryland Direct, where a larger group of feeder cattle are video’d or picture sold and are picked up at the source.

A new computer system with brand new scoreboards was recently added.

“That gives all of the consigners and buyers all of the information from weight to price per pound and total dollars per head,” said Graham.

Experience is highly prevalent at Dryland as many of its employees are also active ranchers themselves which lets clients know they can always rely on them for any questions they have.

“So we have our head not just in the market side of things but also the production side and that keeps us real with what’s happening, also in how we care for the cattle,” explained Graham.

“Of course Ian is not just a market owner but he is active on all fronts of the livestock industry and veterinary clinic so that expertise that each of us carries. We are quite unique to have that ownership and management.”

“We are right in the heart of cattle country so having a market that is easily accessible off the highway of 884 and Highway 12 is actually a good location for delivery and it works really well for the cattle going out, no matter what direction they are going,” said Graham.


Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.