OSU college honors Cottonwood California cattle dealer

October 19, 2007

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Ellington Peek, of Cottonwood, California, is one of the nation's largest livestock marketers. He was honored, October 17, as a 2007 Diamond Pioneer by the Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences.

Peek is one of 38 men and women to be added to the college’s Diamond Pioneer Agricultural Achievement Registry, that salutes achievements in agriculture and related fields and community contributions by those 74 and older. The registry, now in its 24th year, began when the college observed its 75th anniversary. Peek was nominated for the award by the OSU animal sciences department.

The 2007 Diamond Pioneers were guests of Dean of Agriculture Thayne Dutson at a luncheon Wednesday at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center on the Corvallis campus.

Peek began his career in the livestock industry when he developed the Ten Bar Cattle Company at Vina, California, into a major cow-calf operation. He still owns the ranch he ran for 20 years, but now it is managed by his daughter and son-in-law. During Peek’s tenure, he moved cattle between California, Oregon and Nevada.

Entering the marketing area when he first leased an auction yard in Anderson, Peek then built and managed a new sales yard in Red Bluff. In 1966, he started his current operation in Cottonwood, building it into the largest auction yard west of the Rockies and one of the largest in the nation.  More than 10 million head of livestock have passed through the auction yard.

In 1990, he broke new ground with the Shasta/Stockman’s Livestock Video Auction. Now know as the Western Video Market, it has become a national player, staging auctions throughout California and as far away as Wyoming. In 2006, more than 450,000 head were marketed from California to Nebraska.

Peek has been involved with the industry in other ways. He is a member of the Oregon and California cattlemen’s associations as well as the National Association. He also regularly supports livestock associations in northern California as well as 4-H and FFA activities in Oregon, California and Nevada and is a regular supporter of Oregon’s Water for Life, which deals with water rights for livestock producers.

Peek received the U.S. Livestock Man of the Year award in 1998 in Denver and received the Chestier A. Reynolds award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 2007.

Others honored as 2007 Diamond Pioneers in Oregon are Thomas Allen, Jr., Larry Boersma, Kenton Chambers, Robert L. Stebbins, Benno Warkentin, J. Lowell Young and Tom Zinn, all of Corvallis; Don Bennett and Doug Bennett, Echo; Henry Turk, Grants Pass; John Leffel, Hillsboro.

W. L. Andersen, Independence; Doug and Janie Tippett, Joseph; Cleve and Ellie Dumdi, Junction City; Frank King and Eddie Meeker, Klamath Falls; Arleigh Isley, LaGrande; Louise Grothe and Neil (C.J.) Taylor, Lakeview; Don Denman, Medford; Everett Seagoe, Merlin; James D. Wilson, Monmouth.

Tom Uriu, Ontario; Thomas Bedell and Gene Newcomb, Philomath; William and Donna McCormack, Prineville; Robert Huckfeldt, Redmond; Betty Jo Smith, Shedd; Lawrence Fisher, Sublimity; Art and Marjorie Van Gilder, Wasco; Bill Bennett, Connell, Washington; Fred Hagelstein, Vancouver, Washington; and William Kittredge, Missoula, Montana.

Author: Len Calvert
Source: Loretta Austin