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Pifer’s stays busy in Bowman

Press Photo by Bryan Horwath Pifer’s Auction and Reality auction associate Jim Sabe stands in the company’s Bowman office on March 11.

BOWMAN — Since opening in the fall of 2012, the Pifer’s Auction and Reality location here has been a busy place.

Located along Highway 85, just to the north of the growing community, the company couldn’t have picked a better spot to set up shop, said auctioneer and realtor Andy Mrnak.

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As a Bowman native, Mrnak should know.

“One of the big reasons why Pifer’s picked Bowman was because of the community,” Mrnak said. “Bowman is a very progressive area. As far as building a new business in southwest North Dakota, I’d say it’s dang sure one of the best communities to come into.”

Mrnak said the steady growth of Bowman — outside the perimeter of the bustling Bakken — was an alluring trait.

“The growth in Bowman obviously isn’t as fast and rampant as what we’ve seen in Watford City or Williston or Dickinson,” Mrnak said. “Would there have been more access and visibility if we had built in one of those cities? Sure, but, given the slower progression of Bowman and it still being an agriculture-based community, this is where our company wanted to be.”

Part of a three-person team that runs Pifer’s Bowman regional office — Mrnak is joined by auction associate Jim Sabe and receptionist Ali Paulson — the crew stays busy and covers a large area, Mrnak said.

“We cover a lot of ground,” Mrnak said. “We can usually be out to visit with people in an hour or two. As of last November, we also put a projection screen inside our complex with an internet bidding system. We can seat about 300 people if we need to. Come rain or shine, hail or snow, we can hold the auction.”

A full service auction and real estate firm, Pifer’s handles everything from crop land to rural property.

They’ve become a household name for those looking to find their next piece of farm machinery or construction equipment.

The next big date on Pifer’s calendar is the Spring 2014 Western Dakota Machinery Auction, which is scheduled for May 3 in Bowman.

“It’s probably going to be our biggest machinery sale so far,” Mrnak said. “It will include semi trucks and trailers from all over the area, along with agriculture equipment, harvest equipment, planting equipment, tillage equipment, tractors, construction equipment and more. It’s going to be a nice sale and we’re really excited about it. We also have a consigner now that every year that’s been supplying us with 10 or 15 skid-steer attachments.”

A team since 2007, Mrnak said he and Sabe have seen an increase in sales every year since they’ve been working in western North Dakota and South Dakota.

“The first year, we sold I think about $100,000 worth of real estate and about the same amount in machinery,” Mrnak said. “Now, we’re pushing close to $30 million. We’re just very happy to be in Bowman. If we had our pick of anywhere in the nation, I’m not sure we’d

pick another location.”

Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
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