ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – It’s the end of an era in the Abilene cattle industry. Longtime Abilene Livestock Auction owner Randy Carson is kicking up his boots and selling the business.
If you’ve never seen the livestock auction before, it feels like organized chaos. It’s complete with stadium seating, slamming metal gates, a stage like you’ve never seen, a fast talking director and herding in and out of the spotlight, the stars of the show. Behind the scenes for the last 26 years sits Randy Carson, whose history at the Abilene Livestock Auction goes back even further.
“I started working here in 1967, working weekends washing water troughs, cleaning feed troughs,” Carson said.
Rodney Goodwin has known Carson since their days of working the yard and is now a longtime customer.
“That’s all he wanted to do. He just wanted to own this place,” Goodwin said.
Carson quit for a few years, not straying too far from the business.
“I was buying cattle for a living,” Carson said.
He also didn’t stray too far from his ultimate goal.
“I went to a deal the Chamber of commerce put on in Abilene and the last question was ‘what do you want to accomplish in your lifetime?’ and I did, in 1975, write down ‘own Abilene Livestock Auction,'” Carson said.
In 1993 that dream became a reality.
“Well it’s been my living for a long long time so I’ve made a good living here. I’ve got to meet a lot of people, made a lot of friends. I’ve enjoyed it I sure have,” Carson said.
After more than two decades, Carson is hanging up his hat.
“I’m fixing to have a birthday before long. I’ll be 71 and it’s about time to slow down a little bit.”
Carson says he’s staying with the Abilene Livestock Auction for at least the next year to help out the new owners.