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dads706

The Omaha Stockyards

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For those here who have only heard of The Omaha Stockyards, I found this on youtube. As has been said before, the stockyards was actually a city to itself. Including it's own postal code. I was lucky enough to see it in the 50's during its heyday. I was also unlucky enough to see it closed and demolished. I attended the sale the day they sold the stuff from the exchange building. Not sure the date on this film, but the exchange building now houses the Latino Heritage Center. And except for maybe a plaque to show where it was, everything else is businesses where the pens used to be.   Enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=omaha+stockyards

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My uncle hauled his cattle into there when I was pretty young. I remember riding along in the semi with him.  

Later in life as an adult I remember seeing it sitting abandoned and in ruins.

When it closed that part of Omaha was a bit scary.

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Great video. I grew up only hearing stories about the bigger yard of Omaha and kc and wish I could of seen them in their glory. We drove by the remnants of kc many times but I was to young to remember it. Dad hauled cattle when I was growing up and I spent many hours at yards as a kid with okc probably being the biggest. I Think they still hold that title

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I remember the Omaha stockyards when they were still running but actually hauled a few hogs into the Sioux City stockyards. I was there many times when Dad would sell his cattle there.  Was always a big day when he sold cattle.  After they went across the scale after the sale, he would go to the commission company he used to sell and collect his check on the sale.  Wandered around those pens several times. 

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2 hours ago, dumbfarmer said:

Where did all the cattle go 

There were major packing plants all around the stock yards.    Trucks would be lined up L street for miles waiting to get unloaded.  Now there is sadly only a couple packing plants left.  In its prime they also  had a day for feeder cattle. A day  for Feeder hogs and day  for sheep.  About once a month they had a special feeder cattle sale on Thursday.  Big runs of feeders out of Wyoming. Dakotas and Montania.  

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The old timers are gone now that told stories of driving cattle to the Cody rail yards, loading them on the rail cars and riding the train on into Omaha. I'm sorry but I don't think a "Latino heritage center" is befitting the importance the stockyards played in helping to establish the cattle industry in Nebraska. 

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3 hours ago, dads706 said:

For those here who have only heard of The Omaha Stockyards, I found this on youtube. As has been said before, the stockyards was actually a city to itself. Including it's own postal code. I was lucky enough to see it in the 50's during its heyday. I was also unlucky enough to see it closed and demolished. I attended the sale the day they sold the stuff from the exchange building. Not sure the date on this film, but the exchange building now houses the Latino Heritage Center. And except for maybe a plaque to show where it was, everything else is businesses where the pens used to be.   Enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=omaha+stockyards

We shipped a load of fats every Sunday night as long as I could remember to Omaha.  Then on Monday we would go early in morning have breakfast at exchange building watch cattle  sell. Used Johnson and another commission company.   Money would get deposited in the bank there and an order would go in for replacement feeders.   Sometimes we would go for the Thursday special feeder sale.  

They had a big parking garage across the street from the exchange building.  Someone would even park your car for you if you wanted.   There was everything you could think of there. Doctor dentist eye doctor you could get your hair cut. Second level there was a boot store and clothing store.  Two banks grocery store Couple ballrooms several places to eat. As you came in the main front door there was a line of guys to shine your shoes.  Went to many weddings at the exchange building.  

It's hard to explain or discribe the importance of the omaha stock yards to Omaha Nebraska and the whole country  to people who did not live and have a part of it 

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4 minutes ago, sandhiller said:

The old timers are gone now that told stories of driving cattle to the Cody rail yards, loading them on the rail cars and riding the train on into Omaha. I'm sorry but I don't think a "Latino heritage center" is befitting the importance the stockyards played in helping to establish the cattle industry in Nebraska. 

Never understood why they made a Latino center there.  The latinos were not even part of the Omaha Stock yards.  Many white worked there along with a few Chinese but the Bohemanns were a BIG part of south Omaha and the stock yards. It should have been made into a Ag/livestock center. Along With the nationalities that played a part in south omaha and the yards 

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33 minutes ago, oldscoutdiesel said:

I remember the Omaha stockyards when they were still running but actually hauled a few hogs into the Sioux City stockyards. I was there many times when Dad would sell his cattle there.  Was always a big day when he sold cattle.  After they went across the scale after the sale, he would go to the commission company he used to sell and collect his check on the sale.  Wandered around those pens several times. 

We hauled a few hogs and fats  to Sioux City.  They didn't have as good of a market as Omaha did. 

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Thanks for sharing. I had no idea it was that big of place. Very neat 

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9 hours ago, RKO said:

hauled a few hogs and fats  to Sioux Cit

Yup, went down there many, mnay times, my dad fed fat cattle.  And then later I used to truck/haul steers to market for people in the neighborhood.  Wagner, Garrison & Abbott was one of the commission firms that I recall. Also recalling when the Floyd River flooded the yards at SUX.

best, randy

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Another big one was Fort Worth. They opened up shops in the pens that are still standing with several alleys left with shopping on both sides. They still use a rail line that comes in with coach cars for tourist coming from Dallas. It took me awhile to find but the tunnels from the pens to the packing houses is still there but fenced off. I don’t know how many packing houses were there in the day but several are still standing with their names painted on them. I’d like to go back and wander the tunnels but getting caught trespassing and the homeless that are living in there have kept me from it. Didn’t mean to hijack from Omaha but I find history from all the big stockyards fascinating 

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Never was in the Omaha Yards, but I first hauled into Sioux City in 1959 and last in 1980 when I stopped hauling livestock.  Livestock and the yards built Sioux City.  The yards was quite a place.  When the Packing Houses and the Sioux City Stockyards left, that put Sioux City in neutral where it still is.  Not even a real truck stop anymore.  All fast food joints and casinos.

Ron

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I know several here were familiar with the Chicago Stockyards. One year in the 1960's Dad and I spent 50 out of 52 Sunday nights at the Chicago Stockyards.  They had an Exchange Building too. Breakfast there was a treat. Stock Yard Inn next to the International Ampitheater was pretty neat. Whole family went to the big horse show at the Ampitheater in the late '60's early '70's.  Wikipedia says seating for 9000 but that seems WAY small.

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Like I said, I got to see the yards in their heyday. Not to take anything away from the others, but in 1955 the Omaha Stockyards became the largest in the world. It may sound crazy to say it, but you really had to see it to believe it. On a busy night the trucks stretched for miles to unload. I remember the guy who used to haul our cattle saying that he often didn't get unloaded til 2AM and that was when he got in line at 8PM (because we usually loaded out late afternoon)

The stockyards had it's own daily newspaper. I never saw it, but was told that the water pumping station for the stockyards was larger than the pumping station for the city of Omaha (this is 50's and 60's)

What is referred to as 'south omaha' was populated by almost entirely people who work either at the yards or in some related industry. Yes, it was 99% eastern European. All the great restaurants disappeared in soOmaha when the stockyards closed. Today it is 99% Latino and nightly shootings. Back in the day SoO was rough and tough but not violent. Just the nature of the industry.

I went to college with a kid whose dad was a meat cutter at one of the packing plants. He said he never tasted chicken until he went to school. Again, a side benefit of the job.

I'm sure that someone has written a book about the stockyards. I'd like to find it.

What happened to the beef you ask. There is just as much of it here (speaking for SW Iowa) as there ever was (probably more) it's just consolidated like all of ag. Where in the 50's every 160 acres had a farmer who fed 20-30 head of cattle. ie... 10 farmers 200 cattle, today it's 1 farmer with 200 head.(or more)

Sorry for rambling, I could probably spend an hour just talking about what caused the decline of the stockyards.

Oh, and I don't think you can talk about the stockyards with out mentioning Johnny's Cafe in the same breath.  (more stories)

 

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12 minutes ago, dads706 said:

Omaha Stockyards became the largest in the world. It may sound crazy to say it, but you really had to see it to believe it. On a busy night the trucks stretched for miles

Remember that well, a l-o-n-g lineup of trucks!  But I'm talking here about SUX although OMA was the same (used to live in Bellevue (adjacent to Offutt AFB).

Cudahay?  Cudahey?  (sp)???????  And remembering now those meals in the Exchange Buildimg at SUX, yum!

best, randy

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6 hours ago, Randy Sohn said:

Yup, went down there many, mnay times, my dad fed fat cattle.  And then later I used to truck/haul steers to market for people in the neighborhood.  Wagner, Garrison & Abbott was one of the commission firms that I recall. Also recalling when the Floyd River flooded the yards at SUX.

best, randy

Use to haul FAT hogs for my uncle to Sioux City. The buyer wanted them fat 350 plus and the more fat the better.  The buyer had a small packing house that buthered them and the meat was shipped over seas. I think Japan??  Do you or anyone know the buyer or  remember the buyers name??

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19 hours ago, dumbfarmer said:

Where did all the cattle go 

Sorry I thought were the cattle went after they were bought by buyers. 

There is more cattle that ever in the omaha area. Take a drive in Nebraska and look at all the feed lots. The sandhills is full of cow calf operations. Things have just got larger 

Nebraska is still either no. 1 or no 2 in Cattle depending on the year.  Cattle is Big in Nebraska.  Most of the fats are feed in large feed lots 10000 is a small lot.  Buyers come to the feed lots and buy tge cattle there. The cattle are then shipped direct to the packing house 

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Bet the river ran red days after a sale. 

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That was a good video  of how it use to be.

To bad there is no open bidding in the fat cattle market today. The big 3 packers today have contracts with the feedlots or outright own them. Fat cattle are priced by formula that the packers control. I think it's less than 1% of cattle sold by auction that the government uses in it's reporting of price that is the base of the formula price is derived from.

 

So far cattlemen still own the cattle raised in the country,unlike the hog guys that work for companies that own a very high percentage of the sows.

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2 hours ago, ray54 said:

So far cattlemen still own the cattle raised in the country,unlike the hog guys that work for companies that own a very high percentage of the sows.

You can raise hogs from birth to finish in confinement. Can't do that with cattle, takes grass and too much land. Keeps the Packers out of cow/calf industry, mostly.

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On 7/18/2019 at 1:09 AM, sandhiller said:

You can raise hogs from birth to finish in confinement. Can't do that with cattle, takes grass and too much land. Keeps the Packers out of cow/calf industry, mostly.

Just read a disturbing article about Walmart getting into the beef business having their own herd 

not good 

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3 hours ago, dumbfarmer said:

Just read a disturbing article about Walmart getting into the beef business having their own herd 

not good 

By "herd" does the article mean "mother cows"?

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With the introduction of internet auctions, less need for large sites for livestock sales.  Cattle sell. Delivered from seller to buyer directly.  Same with used Farm equipment.   Auctiontime and other online equipment auctions have eliminated most of the old machinery auctions. Different way of doing business. 

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