Clarence Beutler knows livestock — and so do his sons, Chris and Mike Beutler.

The owners of Pender Livestock celebrated Clarence’s 40th year at the helm of the local business last week. It was September of 1969 when he bought the place, which has been on the same site on the east side of Pender all this time.

“We’ve added hog sheds. We’ve changed from wood fences to steel,” Clarence said.

He was 35 years old back in 1969. At 75, he says he plans on staying in the business for the foreseeable future. His sons now run much of the day-to-day operation, but he still does the books.

“I don’t want to retire. I enjoy my work,” Clarence said.

A lot has changed over the years. The hog market is a glimmer of what it once was as much of the sale barn’s volume is spent with feeder cattle these days.

The family also operates a sale barn in Wahoo, the Wahoo Livestock Commission Company. That barn has its big sale day on Thursdays, while locally Pender Livestock has its sale on Tuesdays.

Clarence, who was born and raised on a farm between Bancroft and Pender, said the local sale barn used to conduct its sales on Saturdays years ago.

When it was changed to Tuesday, he heard it from the longtime patrons.

“The older guys said it would never work. But it did,” Clarence said.

Pender Livestock held a special sale last week to commemorate the 40th anniversary.