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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin Schow

Leaving a Legacy - The Story of Dean Schow

Updated: Feb 19

Dean Schow always dreamed of being an auctioneer from the times he got to go to the sale barn with his father when they sold hogs. He would practice chanting on the John Deere "A" tractor in the fields. Before marrying Leah J. Keep in March of 1967 his Dad told him he better go to auction school or he never would. Regarding being an auctioneer, his Dad told him "I want you to be a good one." Dean attended the Reisch World-Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, IA, graduating in December of 1966.

Dean Schow 1944 - 2015

Reisch World Wide College of Auctioneering. Circa 1970.

Upon returning home he nervously approached Clyde Speck at Ogallala Livestock and told him he was an auctioneer and wondered if they needed any help. Clyde responded with "I'll bet you are (an auctioneer)! One of our ringmen is going to be gone on Saturday, do you suppose you could come and work the ring? Be sure and bring your own whip and if you get hungry, I'll order a sandwich from the cafe, but be sure you stop and pay for it after the sale!" Dean showed up on Saturday, working a solid 12 hours. Clyde asked if he would like to come back the next week, and Dean's career was born. Over the years he has also worked simultaneously at the Livestock Auctions at Chappell, North Platte, Gothenburg, Farmers & Ranchers in Ft. Collins, CO; Stockmens in Torrington, WY; Ranchland in Wray, Colo; Ranchers & Farmers in Burlington, CO; Quality in Stratton, CO; Corman in Burlington, CO; as well as numerous bull sales, horse sales and 4-H livestock sales.

A look at the yards of Ogallala livestock - where Dean got his start.

Dean freely shared his talents selling countless benefit auctions as well as fundraiser auctions for Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever. He was fortunate to be involved in selling numerous hunting trips all over the world for the Foundation for North America Wild Sheep. For many years Dean sold machinery consignment auctions for Ward Brothers in Clovis, NM and Madden Brothers in Torrington, WY. In 1978 Dean won a Regional title in the World Livestock Auctioneer contest in Marshall, MO. He followed that in 1979 with the Reserve World Livestock Auctioneer title competing in Brush, CO. In 1980 Dean claimed the title of World Livestock Auctioneer Champion, competing in Templeton, Cal. As a result of that Championship he was hired as a spokesman for Syntex Agri-business promoting their Synovex implants through radio and television ads, public appearances and publications throughout the Midwest. Dean served as an instructor at the Nebraska Auction School in Lincoln, NE; World-Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, IA; and an advanced livestock auctioneering course at the stockyards in South St. Paul, MN. He conducted bid calling seminars for other state auctioneer associations and at the National Auctioneer Association conventions. When Dean married Leah J. Keep of Ogallala in March 1967 they became partners not only in life but in business as well. Together they operated the family farm as well as Schow Auction Service. The complete auction service offers computerized clerking as well as auctioneering and involves many of the family members. Kyle and Kevin serve as auctioneers and ringmen while Korey assists Leah with cashiering as well as clerking. In recent years Dean's granddaughters and grandsons have assisted with auction as cashiers, clerks, and ringmen, with one or more of them destined to be an auctioneer as well!

Dean left behind a passion for auctioneering in his sons and grandchildren. Leah, Kyle, and Kevin continue to run the successful business. Despite several changes in the auction business in the past 5 years, Schow Auction continues to utilize the newest technology and most modern strategies in order to bring the most money for their clients' assets. This year, Kevin Schow was awarded the 2023 Nebraska Auctioneer of the Year Award. Kaden was also elected on the Executive Board for the Nebraska Auctioneers Association and recent graduated from the Western College of Auctioneering in Bozeman, Montana. The future looks very bright for the Schow's as they continue to serve Nebraska and the Midwest with their services!

Dean & Leah in 2013.
Dean with his three sons. Korey (1975-2015), Kyle, and Kevin.
Dean and Leah with Jerry and Joan Speck in 2013.
Dean with longtime friend and fellow auctioneer Keith Saathoff.
The Schow Family, Circa 2012.

Thank you for reading!

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1 Comment

Feb 17

The picture with Dean & Leah, with Clyde & Joan Speck is incorrect, this is Jerry Speck Clyde’s son.

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