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BATTLE CREEK, MI -- While many livestock auction barns offer Easter lamb sales in the spring, Farmers Livestock Marketing Services of Battle Creek, MI has a little more on their sale bill. They have the usual lambs for the traditional Easter dinners but there will also be feeder calves ready for pasturing and just in time for the beginning of warmer weather.
“We have had these sales for the last couple of years where we put the two (species) together,” General Manager Trent McConkey said. “The lambs are for a specialized sale mainly for the Greek culture in connection with the Orthodox Easter holiday. We buy a lot for people in Detroit.”
There were fewer lambs this year due to the date for Easter. McConkey stated that this was a problem throughout the United States because of the April 1 holiday and the sheep’s weight. The optimal weight is between 40 and 55 pounds of animal for the meals. The early lambs would be too heavy, while later babies wouldn’t make the poundage needed.
“We sold several lambs at our Wednesday sale just last week,” McConkey said. “Most of the guys said that if they waited another week, the lambs would have been too heavy.”
Though the lamb numbers were small, the feeder calves more than made up for that with a fairly large number available during the Easter weekend. Farmers, as they are referred to as, conducts three feeder cattle auctions a year along with this feeder calf one. 
A variety of breeds were offered as bulls, steers, and heifers were paraded around the sale ring, providing the crowd with plenty of choices. The livestock auction barn has many regular buyers with invitations for others to appreciate the weekly auctions. Some of the animals were sold in groups, supplying the bidder with a herd to work with. Other options were single animals that could be added to a herd or the freezer, depending on the priorities of the buyer.
Farmers Livestock Marketing Services is owned by the Benjamin family who all participate in various aspects of the business. Located on the grounds is a feed business that was purchased by longtime manager Matt Miller and sells Kent and Kalmbach Feeds to the auction attenders as well as the public. Farmers has a weekly Wednesday sale that opens with hay and small animals. They then sell sheep and goats with cattle of varying weights finishing out the day.

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