HERREID, S.D. – At the weekly Herreid Livestock Auction here, area ranchers no longer see as many cattle buyers checking out the cattle as the animals move through the ring. “We’ve still got 12, 15, 18 buyers there, but it’s not like it used to be,” says Joe Vetter, auction co-manager. But the buyers really are there in a virtual sense. They’ve simply arrived via the fiber telecommunications routes of America instead of the Interstates and two-lane highways.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. – For Hal Gershman, the problem was one of succession: what to do with the North Dakota business that his father, “Happy” Harry Gershman, started in 1944, and that Hal took over and steered through multiple expansions starting in 1976. Hal’s daughter had her own career and wasn’t necessarily interested in assuming leadership of Happy Harry’s Bottle Shops, the company that now comprises two stores in Grand Forks, N.D., and three in Fargo, N.D.