Most of the time, ranchers can take a day off to attend a bull sale and find that next great herd prospect. However, sometimes the weather becomes severe, calving starts or other emergencies occur that make it impossible to attend the sale. Many bull sales offer buyers the option of purchasing an animal absentee by placing bids ahead of time with either the breeder, auctioneer, ringman or a third party, depending on the sale.

Louisa Krebs of Whitestone-Krebs near Gordon, NE, says absentee bidding is an option they've given their customers for a long time.

“Even before there was Internet technology available, we accepted bids by phone,” she explains. “I think there are a number of reasons people can't make it to a sale – weather, travel distance, and time constraints seem to be the most common. Most of the people who buy bulls from us have been here, seen them, and made their decisions. They feel comfortable buying the bulls this way.”

Jerry and Sharon Connealy of Connealy Angus of Whitman, NE, have offered absentee bidding since 2008. Although they like to see customers at the sale, they believe if the weather or workload keeps them away, it is good for buyers to have the option to bid off-site.

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