Where Cowboying Is Work and Play

For an inside glimpse of the cattle industry, visit on cattle auction day (Wednesdays all year and Thursdays in fall and winter). Sit on the bleachers of Lemmon Livestock and watch the buyers and sellers. Thousands of cattle will change hands at a busy winter sale, along with enough money to make a big-city banker blush. Six-figure transactions can transpire in minutes, with nothing more noticeable than a nod or the raise of a finger. Cattle outnumber people 4 to 1 in South Dakota, but the ratio is 37 to 1 in Perkins County. For a culinary treat, enjoy a hot beef sandwich with real potatoes and gravy in the auction barn’s restaurant. Ranching is hard work, but cowboys know how to have fun; the best example is the Boss Cowman Rodeo, held the second weekend of July.

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