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District calves priced well in Stratton

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Local calves sold at healthy prices during last Saturday’s auction at Stratton, further re-enforcing the revamped cattle barn as a viable part of the area’s beef market.

“This is the highest market I’ve seen this fall. These six-week cattle are getting $900—everything’s a good $100 more now,” said Jeff McSherry, the owner of Saskatchewan’s Prairie Livestock company that was on hand to purchase some local livestock.

McSherry and a number of buyers from southeastern Ontario, Manitoba, and Minnesota showed up as 1,231 local calves were put through the ring during the auction

But most of the buyers were from the district, with well over 100 farmers, buyers, and families lining the bleachers in the Stratton barn.

“We’ve got a really good turnout here. The majority of people here are locals,” said Peter Spuzak, president of the Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association.

The sale was given a boost by more than $500,000 in funding recently divvied up among area farmers by the Rainy River Feeder Finance Co-operative. That—and a good season for local feed crops—encouraged local farmers to increase their stock.

“There’s quite a few of those faces here. They’re spending it,” noted co-operative president Harold Duivenvoorden.

“If there’s this much interest in local cattle, there’s no sense in pulling it out. It’s a strong market from what I’ve seen,” said McSherry.

“We’ve come mostly for the bigger yearling cattle,” he added.

Prices per pound averaged more than $1.50 and, at times, soared to as high as $2.10 per pound. Overall, the sale was easily comparable to other, larger ones across the country—especially with the new ring.

“It’s very comparable to how things are set up at other [sales yards]. It’s run right up to standard with anyone,” said McSherry.

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