By BRENNA WIEGAND For the Capital Press Mar 9, 2023
Mark Malott of Central Oregon Ranch Supply is bringing a few friends to the Central Oregon Ag Show. In fact, Malott says he is putting on a “trade show within a trade show.”
Eight manufacturer’s representatives will have their own booths where visitors can ask questions, see and purchase their wares and even negotiate.
“Very rarely are those reps available to the general public,” Malott said. “Most of the time they’re running up and down the road calling on people like me.
“We just wanted to try something a little different,” he said. “The people from the Ag Show really liked the idea so we’re taking a run at it.”
Central Oregon Ranch Supply hosts its own trade shows in the fall and spring that are attended by thousands of people. In addition to their main store in Redmond, Ore., they have a satellite store at the Central Oregon Livestock Auction in Madras.
Mark’s parents, Ray and Claudia Malott, started Central Oregon Ranch Supply in 1976. Mark and Ann purchased the company from his parents in 2000, and in 2017 their daughter Michaeline joined the business.
“We’re a lot larger and cover a lot bigger territory than we did at the beginning,” Malott said. “We ship our animal health products to five states on a daily basis, and our larger products — salt, minerals and equipment — are shipped throughout the Pacific Northwest.”
Being in the cattle business himself, Malott can often bring a perspective to the business that a normal retail operation cannot.
Malott has maintained a cow herd for 40 years, running them all over Oregon on leased or deeded land. His son, Kahl, is part of the highly skilled crew operating Malott Livestock LLC.
“Being family owned, everybody cares just a little bit more than if you just worked for somebody; that gives us a little leg up as well,” Malott said. “We offer expert service, competitive prices and will have what you need in stock.”
At the show will be two large displays of cattle handling equipment, allowing people to operate it, see how it works and even purchase it on the spot.
“Technology in animal health products and cattle handling equipment are just like your iPhones and everything else — they’re ever-changing,” Malott said. “Some of these cattle equipment systems now available to producers are by far the safest for not only cattle but the producers handling them.”
An example is a portable corral system by Arrowquip that can be pulled behind a pickup truck and unloaded and set up to work cattle in 20 minutes.
“The vaccine and anthelmintic products and the antibiotics available today compared to when I started at 20 are just crazy,” Malott said. “You no longer have to live with the cattle losses that producers lived with 20 years ago.
“Every year something comes out in the research to help you improve your performance — get your cattle bred better or get them to perform better on pastures or increase feed efficiency on your hay or make your cattle handling safer,” he said. “It’s never boring in the ag industry.”