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Biggest spring cattle sale in 'long time'

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The spring cattle sale held Saturday was one of the biggest seen at the Stratton sales barn in the last five years.

More than 100 people turned out to watch their cattle get purchased by 17 different buyers.

Some 1,535 head went through the ring, generating more than $1.8 million for the 108 farmers who sold cattle at the sale.

Murray McDonald, chair of the Rainy River Cattlemen's Association, said spring cattle sales historically have seen closer to 1,200-1,400 sold.

The sale welcomes all different breeds of cattle, such as Black and Red Angus, Hereford, Charolais, Limousin, Galloways, and Belted Galloways, to name a few.

Sales barn manager James Gibson said a diverse range of breeds is raised here in the northwest.

McDonald said prices were fairly decent Saturday and brought a long-awaited payday to many of the district's farmers.

He has great appreciation for the sales barn because it provides a local place where cattle can be sold, and helps to support the local economy,

“It's nice to have a place where we can market our cattle locally instead of sending them to Winnipeg or down to Eastern Ontario,” Murray noted.

The sales barn was built nearly 60 years ago to provide a place for the district's farmers to sell cattle locally so they don't have to ship out their cattle on trains to Winnipeg, echoed Gibson.

Jen van Zwol, cattle sales office clerk, said it was a bit of a “social gathering,” with many farmers connecting with old friends or people they haven't seen through the winter season.

She was happy with the turnout and thanked all those who help with the cattle sale, as well as the cattle sellers, buyers, and attendees who make the event possible year after year.

She enjoys working the cattle sale and looks forward to readying the barn as the RRCA gears up for their next sale set for Aug. 25.

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