Tylen and Ryley Layton are local kids turned cattle industry veterans on a new adventure with their purchase of South Coffeyville Stockyards.
While the pair closed on the cattle auction house close to two months ago, the transition between owners has been quiet and easy, as the Laytons remain true to previous owner Jimmy Folk’s attention to customer service and quality cattle.
“We officially closed on June 3, but we began the buying process last fall,” Layton said. “Jimmy is still around, still order buying cattle and mentoring me through the transition, so the experience for our buyers and sellers hasn’t changed very much.”
In addition to the stockyards, Tylen and Ryley run a stocker operation near where Tylen’s hometown of Copan. For the pair, purchasing the auction was both an exciting business opportunity and a chance for Ryley to reconnect with a familiar industry.
“My father-in-law is a manager at National Livestock in Oklahoma City, so for Ryley this is a chance to be back in an environment she grew up in,” Layton said.
As with all ownership changes, the Laytons are bringing new ideas and opportunities to South Coffeyville Stockyards, starting with the facilities.
“One of the only major changes we’ve made once we took ownership was the addition of 19 new fans in the back pens,” Layton said. “We’re cattle owners ourselves and we understand that condition matters for buyers and sellers alike, so we wanted to provide the best environment possible for cattle coming through our barns.”
Along with the ventilation upgrades, Layton said an overall facility improvement is next on the to-do list.
“We’ve also begun preparations to add on to the barn,” Layton said. “Those changes are more of a five-year goal but it is something we’re already planning for.”
Although there are some exciting new changes for South Coffeyville, the aspects cattle producers have previously enjoyed about the auction house will be staying the same. The overall personnel, staff and auctioneer are remaining and South Coffeyville will continue to sell on Fridays at 11 a.m., with the addition of a special online sale at 2 p.m., both of which can be viewed at cattleusa.com.
“We’ve got all the same buyers, with the addition of four to five new faces around the ring as well,” Layton said. “We’ve had the same steady flow of faithful sellers coming in all the time, as well as some new customers and we’re grateful for their loyalty to us during the transition.”
The year 2020 has been a challenging time for livestock markets in general, much less for individuals to dive headlong into a new venture in the industry. Layton said overall, they have felt fortunate for Folk’s guidance as well as the opportunity to bring in new buyers and give their customers the best prices possible.
“This has been a challenging time to come into this industry and our customers have been very understanding of the overall marketing environment we’re in,” Layton said. “We’ve been working hard to ensure we get each customer the absolute best prices we can for their livestock and we will continue to make that commitment into the future.”