Agriculturalists of the Year
Introducing the 98th Little International Agriculturist of the Year,
Larry Schnell has lived most of his life in Dickinson, ND, along with his wife of 44 years, Judi. Judi and Larry have two children; Jay, and his wife Emma, who, with their four children, live near Great Bend, ND; and Dee, who along with her husband, Charlie, live in Palm Bay, Florida with their two children.
For most of 45 years, Larry was a partner and general manager of Stockmen’s Livestock Exchange, a Livestock Auction Market in Dickinson, North Dakota, which marketed from one hundred to one hundred fifty thousand cattle each year for the farmers and ranchers in western North Dakota and Eastern Montana. Larry and his partner, James Erickson, sold the business to three of their employees in October of 2022.
Over the years, Larry has served on various boards and committees, and while serving, he has always tried to ensure that the producer side of any subject was made clear and considered. He has been involved in many topics of concern for cattlemen and women both within the state and nationwide, including Lien Laws as they relate to livestock transactions, animal care and handling, animal ID, humane horse slaughter, futures manipulation, livestock transportation regulations, and many others.
One of the areas that Schnell has had the most impact on is in animal handling. With cooperation from the Livestock Marketing Association, the National Cattleman’s Beef Association, and ranchers’ checkoff dollars, Schnell was instrumental in creating an animal handling video to educate auction market employees in proper ways of handling cattle, including non-ambulatory cattle, in a responsible manner. Experts from around the nation were used to show proper techniques and the resulting DVD has been sent to every livestock auction market in the United States, and has been dubbed into Spanish for use in Mexico and South America.
In February of 2013, Larry was awarded the BQA Marketing Award for his work on the Auction Market Cattle handling video, and his work in cooperation with NDSU, BQA, DSU, and other entities involved in animal handling and animal identification.
In 1994, Schnell and North Dakota’s State Ag Dept. Livestock Director Wayne Carlson, journeyed to Russia at the request of the U.S. State department to assess the status of livestock marketing in the Nizhny Novgorod region south of Moscow. They were asked to study the situation and to recommend procedures that might help put more money into the pockets of the newly “free” Russian farmers. The trip resulted in a better understanding of the problems the Russians faced, as well as a detailed plan for the construction and operation of a livestock auction market. To date that auction market has not been built in Russia, but the country of Kazakhstan is said to have used that plan to get one up and running.
In June of 2020, Larry was elected president of the Livestock Marketing Association, a trade group representing over 800 Livestock Auction Markets and Dealers in the United States and Canada. He is currently Chairman of the Board. One of the highlights of his time as president of this organization, was the Livestock Industry Roundtable. This was a full day meeting of five of the largest Livestock Organizations in the U.S., with four members from each of those groups. Getting all five of these groups in the same room was not an easy task, but much progress was made in the search for common ground. Larry was the facilitator for that meeting.
Larry has held many offices, and volunteered for charity events such as: Past President of the ND Auctioneers Association, President of the ND Livestock Marketing Association for over 20 years, Past Chairman of the ND Beef Commission, Former member of Strategic Grasslands Initiative, Former Regional Vice President for the Federation of State Beef Councils, which includes North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas, Former auctioneer for the NDSU Bison Bidders Bowl, Donated his Auctioneer skills for numerous 4H, FFA, University, Hospital, and Sporting fundraisers.
Congratulations Larry Schnell