In a recent development in the livestock industry, North Central Livestock Exchange has undergone a change in ownership. The market, located south of Vermilion was purchased by Dean Lawes and Darcy Lakevold who took possession on June 1. The market is now known as Vermilion Livestock Exchange.
Vermilion Livestock Exchange manager, Jesse Lawes comes from a long line of cattle enthusiasts. His father, Dean Lawes (owner), his mother, Bernadette, and his brother, Casey, have all been actively involved in the ownership and running of Provost Livestock Exchange.
Jesse also noted that his grandfather, Jack Lawes, was a self-taught auctioneer who bought and sold cattle privately as well as through auction markets and buying stations across Alberta and that he eventually found himself involved with a buying station in Lloydminster
“In 1974, my grandfather, my grandmother, and their three children moved to Provost and purchased a major ownership in the Provost Livestock Exchange. I believe around 1982 my dad (Dean) started full-time at the market, and it remains that way to this day,” commented Jesse. He said that he and his brother Casey were raised in the market scene working there before and after school until they both started working there full-time in 2015 and 2013 respectively.
When asked about the new ownership, Jesse mentioned that Darcy Lakevold is also a partner in the business and that his son Kody has relocated to Vermilion to work full-time at Vermilion Livestock Exchange.
This two-family-driven venture brings together experienced individuals with a passion for the industry, ensuring a smooth transition and continuity in operations.
The decision to acquire North Central Livestock Exchange was driven by the family's desire to expand their presence and retain valuable employees. Recognizing the potential in Vermilion’s market, they saw an opportunity to grow their business. Jesse explained, “We felt that we had to expand in one form or another to be able to retain some very good employees that have shown their intention to be with the company long term, so when we heard that the Vermilion market was potentially for sale, we started talking, and this is where we ended up. We believe the market has a great location and the facilities are second to none.”
Notably, both Jesse and Casey had previously worked at the Vermilion market. “Both I and Casey had previously worked at the Vermilion market when we attended Lakeland College. Rusty Stalwick was the manager then and the business was thriving,” said Jesse.
As for the services offered by Vermilion Livestock Exchange, Jesse highlighted their commitment to creating a competitive market environment where buyers and sellers are treated with respect and transparency. Regular cattle sales are scheduled every Wednesday at 9 a.m., providing an opportunity for buyers to acquire quality livestock. The exchange is equipped with professional sorting and efficient weighing capabilities to present cattle to buyers from across the country.
The Lawes/Lakevold family’s acquisition of the North Central Livestock Exchange signifies a significant milestone in their journey within the cattle industry. With their experience, dedication, and strategic vision, they aim to further strengthen the market’s position and serve the needs of their customers and clientele.