It was the first of its kind held in the district in a decade but those at Saturday’s “Top of the Line” cattle sale in Stratton seemed to be quite pleased with its return.
Only five out of 30 lots were passed out of the ring, with several consigners finding buyers after the sale was over.
Although bidding seemed to start off a bit slow, it got stronger as the sale moved on, with several lots selling well over their reserved bid price.
Kim Jo Calder, one of the sale’s organizers, had two animals in the sale—a yearling heifer and a calf—that both sold, with the calf being “well over” her reserve bid.
She felt things went well.
“We haven’t had a wrap-up meeting yet and we probably won’t for a couple of weeks but as far as I know, everybody was pleased,” Calder said.
Kim Cornell had five Red Angus/Hereford cross, bred heifers in the sale, which sold between $1,250-$1,400 each. He said the sale was off to a good start—good enough to happen again next year.
“There seemed to be more demand for the bred cattle than there were for the calves,” he remarked. “If you can pay $1,300 for a bred cow, why buy an $800 calve and wait two years before you get something off her?”
“With a bred animal, you’re going to get something out of that animal a lot sooner than later,” echoed Calder. “Now that people see we’ve got this [sale] started, you may see them keep an extra heifer or two around for that reason.”
Margie Gemmell and her husband, Murray, brought a steer and a bull calf to the sale, along with two cows consigned by her son, David. Although they ended up bringing their bull calf back to the farm, Gemmell said she was quite pleased.
“I think I would like to see the sale another time,” she remarked. “I think another time, I would consider putting in a bred yearling—a bull calf is a hard thing to market.”
Gary Beck’s heifer calf was passed out of the auction ring without any bidders although he managed to pick up a buyer before he left the sales yard Saturday.
Beck said he might think twice about putting a reserve bid on his animal next time, noting he would have been pleased with how things went even if he didn’t find a buyer for his calf.
“I don’t think anybody went away upset,” he said, adding it was a “learning experience” for many as to what to bring to this kind of sale.
Calder said the local Hereford Association used to hold a breeders’ sale on an annual basis although it was given up in the late 1980s.
A few areas already have been pointed out where improvements can be made, Calder added, such as arranging the lots instead of just drawing them out of a hat.
She also noted having the entry deadline one month before the sale might have been too early.
“I think we’d like to see a bit bigger of a sale but it was a nice size to start off with,” she said. “There’s always room for improvement.”