Gary Potter honored for 60 years in livestock

by Charles Gerian

Gary Potter, a name synonymous with livestock in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas, has been recognized by the Oklahoma Livestock Marketing Association for his nearly 60 years of service to the livestock marketing industry.

At the end of January, Terry Chapman presented Potter with a special plaque at the Southern Plains Livestock Auction facility, formerly known as the Blackwell Livestock Auction.

“It was a tremendous honor, really,” Potter said. “I've been in this business my whole life. It's always been a family business, and I leave it to my son now. I'm still up here as often as I can be, and I was incredibly moved by the recognition. It's something you can never grow out of, and livestock has changed my life.”

Potter began his career in Newkirk in the mid 1950s.

The Blackwell auction house has been operated by Lance Cochran since February 2019. In an interview at the time, Cochran talked about how the Potters have impacted him.

“The Potters have had an insanely good reputation,” Cochran said. “They are as honest as you can get. I just want to build on that legacy. They taught me to say what you mean and to mean what you say. Always give the truth, and the exact truth. If there are only 100 cattle in a sale, I'm going to tell people there are only 100. It takes a lifetime to gain a customer and only a day to lose one.”

Potter is an active member of the Arkansas City Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma Auctioneers Association, National Auctioneers Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Kansas Livestock Association, and the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association. He is the president of the Oklahoma Livestock Marketing Association, and he is the past president and board member of the Kansas Auctioneer Association. He has provided services for numerous civic organizations, charities and churches in the area.