The cattle business is an interesting one that most people know little about, and what they do know probably comes from Yellowstone. Ranchers who don't actively breed cattle find themselves in buy/sell situations where they sell their herd and buy new cattle they plan on selling later. But ranching is a tough business there's many factors that go into ranching like the cost of grain, the cost of transport, and the price of beef, all are prone to change. So even when the sale price of cows is high it might be unprofitable, likewise when the sale price is high ranchers will still have to buy to keep their herd populated and will have to contend with selling in a down market in the future. Being difficult if not impossible to plan for the future the cattle industry has to market their herds live and use a bit of showmanship.
Article:Auctions create great cattle marketing stories (beefmagazine.com)