Lextron sets up shop in Dickinson

Lextron Animal Health will continue to serve North Dakota and eastern Montana through a field sales representative, but now they also have a retail location in Dickinson.

Lextron Animal Health will continue to serve North Dakota and eastern Montana through a field sales representative, but now they also have a retail location in Dickinson.

"The growth in that area in the cow-calf market is what led to the retail store," Lextron Operations Manager Frank Gable said. "We chose Dickinson because their stock yards draw ranchers from a huge area, about 150-mile radius. We're hoping that market will appreciate and support our presence there."

Lextron Animal Health is based in Colorado with a regional office in Billings, Mont. Established in 1967, the company came to North Dakota in 1978. Since that time, the business has served its customers through a field sales representative.

Current field sales representative Tyler Fritz has been with the company since April. A native of rural Belfield, he has been familiar with Lextron well before he started selling for the company.

"My folks had purchased from them for probably 10-12 years," Fritz said. "And my neighbor who had worked for them told me about the position up here."


Fritz takes pride in his work and recognizes it's more than making the sale.

"I would say one of our biggest things is it's part of our job to supply a producer with what they need to keep our food supply safe and healthy," he said.

While he does have sales experience, the extensive travel has been a bit of an adjustment, Fritz said.

"I used to rodeo a lot when I was younger and there was a lot of travel involved with that, but in the last number of years, I haven't traveled nearly as extensively as I do now."

While Fritz was adjusting to life on the road, former field sales representative Gerald Blees was just settling into retirement.

"I retired off of the highway, which and Tyler took over my job," Blees said. "That was at the beginning of July this summer. Then about the 15th of July, I got a phone call and they were asking if I would come back to work. I said, 'Yeah, I love the industry.'"

Blees has been in the animal health industry for 24 years and with Lextron for 16.

"What I like most about it is the vaccine end of it," Blees said. "It's constantly changing and you have to be on top of your game to give these people proper guidance in animal health programs."


Before he was the field sales representative for the North Dakota-eastern Montana territory, he was managing a territory in Utah.

"I managed a territory down in Ogden, Utah," he said. "There were several states out there that I covered. It was an interesting experience living there. There's a different culture. But as you move around, you have to adapt to their culture. I was able to grow a very nice store out there for them.

"But I'm glad to be back home again. I was born and raised in Bowman. I've been a North Dakota kid all my life, except for 10 years where they had me out in Utah. North Dakota is my home and it will be the rest of my life."

Blees returned to North Dakota in 2000 and worked as a field sales representative for six years until his brief retirement.

"At the point I came back to Dickinson, I was living in Brigham City, Utah," he said. "The company wanted me to locate in Dickinson because of the growth in the cattle industry."

With Blees back on board as store manager, it was time to set up shop. Fritz assisted with finding the location, but Blees took over from there.

"I put it all together myself," he said gesturing around the store. "It's been quite a task, but I've enjoyed it. I take it one day at a time. Every day she gets a little better."

The store, located at 1223 East I-94 Business Loop opened on Aug. 1.


"Everybody knows it as the old A&W restaurant," Blees said. "Some of the older customers will come in and say 'Gee, I can still taste those root beer floats.'

"The response from the public has very been positive," he added. "I think it's really generated a lot of new business for us."

Fritz has also experienced a positive affect from the retail store.

"It's made my job a lot easier," he said. "Because of the inventory that is available here, we have the product on-hand instead of having our customers wait for shipping."

Lextron Animal Health in Dickinson is open six days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays. The store can be called at (701) 225-1357.

"I'd like to invite people to come look at us and keep us in mind for all their animal health needs," Fritz said. "We have supplies for companion pets as well as production livestock."

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