Sky’s the limit for saleyard
THE rise of the Wangaratta Livestock Exchange to become one of the premium saleyards in North East Victoria has been a godsend for many long term users of the facility.
For many local farming families the market has been a part of their lives for generations.
David Evans from Moyhu is one of the saleyards’ biggest supporters and his family’s links to the operation go back over a century, well before it was on its current site.
His family traded at the saleyards early in the 20th century when they were situated where King George Gardens are now before they shifted to Batchelor’s Green in the late 1930s and Mr Evans’ brother, Doug, was mayor of the rural city when the saleyards moved to Shanley Street in 1977 (Oxley Shire was represented by (late) Crs Algy Swinburne and Tom Wadley and Wangaratta Shire by Crs Bill McCormack and Jack O’Keefe).
Mr Evans has been selling his cattle in Wangaratta for over 60 years and he believes the new complex has the potential to double or even treble its capacity.
“It’s a better set-up than Barnawartha for showing off cattle, it’s better for the animals and it’s better for the vendors,” he said.
“The local yards also have fat cattle pre-sale weighing which is better for the vendors and better for the cattle’s welfare.
“The new roofing also protects the soft standing in the pens although they could probably put even more soft standing in the yards to make it even better.”
He said the smaller yardings at Wangaratta also favoured vendors, particularly smaller producers.
“Sometimes the smaller producers can be swamped by much bigger yardings like at Wodonga,” Mr Evans said.
“But Wangaratta also has the ability to present large lines of cattle very well, particularly at store sales or the Blue Ribbon sales.”
He said all the Wangaratta saleyards needed to build on its success was more support from agents and vendors.
“It’s important the agents support the saleyards,” he said.
“And vendors need to understand that at Wangaratta they have better presentation of their cattle, at least equal prices to other saleyards plus the bonus of pre-sale weigh- ing of fat cattle.”
Mr Evans said the cooperative concept for the management of the complex was “a reasonable way to go”, however, he believed for the moment it should remain under control of the Wangaratta council with a good management committee in place.
A BIG FAN: Moyhu beef producer David Evans preparing his cattle for the Blue Ribbon sale earlier this year at Wangaratta saleyards and (left) back in 1908.