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Jim Woster

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Before it closed last June the Sioux Falls Stockyards was going on 93 years of business. And for four decades one man was a part of it. Now he's making sure the history and the memories are remembered. For that reason, Jim Woster is tonight's "Someone You Should Know".

The Sioux Falls Stockyards have been a part of the downtown Sioux Falls landscape for 92 years. For farmers it was a place to do business.

Tom Hill says, "I've been to the auction ring a couple of times. I used to raise pigs when the price was decent."

For John Morrell employees on their way to work, it's a building they walk past every day. But for 42 years it was Jim Wooster’s work.

Jim Woster says, "I came out of South Dakota State in 1962, I graduated on a Monday night and came down here on a Tuesday morning, started working for the Stockyard Company."

Now trucks drive by the Stockyards and the parking lot is empty. When Woster found out the Stockyards were being shut down, he took some time to reflect on the memories.

Jim Woster says, "On a Sunday morning, I told my wife, 'I'm going down to the Stockyards and I wasn't sure why and I went up on the crosswalk of the cattle ally and I looked at my watch and I'd been there an hour and fifteen minutes. I'm not sure what I even thought about, but I guess just thinking back on what a special place it was."

Woster was also there to see the last cattle sale in June.

Jim Woster says, "I saw people down here that were coming down just bringing grandkids down. They wanted to see the place. Customers, truckers we had for 50 years. It was a special place."

Even though the gates are now closed, Woster made sure the memories aren't forgotten. He invited PBS to do a special documentary on the Stockyards, so that the history is preserved.

Jim Woster says, "This really is kind of where the city started and for ninety-two years, this place really was a large part of Sioux Falls, South Dakota."

The building may not be here much longer, but Woster says he can always look back on the memories. For that, he says he's thankful.

Jim Woster says, "Sometimes you get lucky in life, you know. If you can do something you like for that long and make money at it, it doesn't get any better than that."

Jim Woster will be on the SDSU campus in Brookings tomorrow night, sharing some of the stories he collected from his time at the Stockyards.
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