ANIMALS

Pontotoc Stockyard still in business after 40 years

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Taylor Dowden
Oxford Stories
tedowden@go.olemiss.edu

For more than 40 years, the Pontotoc Stockyard has been the go-to place to buy and sell livestock in North Mississippi. Dr. Ron Herndon, a native of Shannon, Mississippi, said he has established a company that values honesty and fairness above all else. He credits the Stockyard’s consistency with his passion for the work.

“Ever since I was a boy, I grew up feeding cows and riding horses,” he said. “Those were my favorite things.”

After studying agriculture at Shannon High School, Herndon moved to Davenport, Iowa, where he became a certified chiropractor. After graduating from chiropractor school, Herndon moved back to Mississippi. Although he was helping patients with troubled backs and necks, Herndon still found time to run the Pontotoc Stockyard.

“I’ve always fooled with cattle,” he said. “I was raised on a farm. We always had cattle.”

In those 40 years, the Pontotoc Stockyard has steadily seen consistent growth in customers, prompting Herndon to hire more help. When asked why he thinks the stockyard does so well, Herndon said, “Despite the inconsistency of the market, we get the best money for your livestock because we try the hardest.”

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Billy Daniels has been a customer of the Pontotoc Stockyard for more than 20 years. During that time, he said he has always been treated right, and he has been taken care of.

“It has not happened often, but there has been a few times one of my cattle was hurt from the time it was unloaded and caged with the other animals,” he said.

However, in these circumstances, Herndon will buy the animal at full price so that the owner is not at a loss. “That is the kind of service that keeps people coming back every time,” Daniels said.

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Collierville, Tennessee native Randy Taylor compares buying livestock to investing in the stock market.

“You can buy a cattle, feed it, img_20161208_140734-947and come to find out it didn’t hardly grow,” he said. “It is what it is. Sometimes they grow, and sometimes they don’t.”

Another factor that makes buying livestock hard to predict is changing prices. “The price right now for cattle right out the mother is usually $450-$500,” Taylor said. “A few years ago, prices were way higher. I saw some go for $1,250. It can really be hit and miss sometimes.”

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With prices always changing, it is important for farmers to know they will get a fair price. Herndon and his staff has done everything they can to make sure that is the case at the Pontotoc Stockyard. His business motto is, “Always do the best, no matter what.”

By providing the best possible customer service and consistently getting high prices for livestock, the Pontotoc Stockyard has stayed true to that motto. It may be the reason they have been around for over 40 years.

When asked about possible problems the Stockyard might face, Herndon said, “I don’t think about failure. I keep my mind on moving forward and being the best.”

A positive mindset seems to be a major key for Herndon as the Pontotoc Stockyard continues to grow. Herndon has done everything he can to ensure the Pontotoc Stockyard will be around for years to come.

They offer a wide variety of livestock including cattle, goats, hogs, horses, and more. You can visit the Pontotoc Stockyard Saturdays starting at 11 a.m. to buy, sell, or trade your livestock.

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