Dalby Livestock Sale Yards (on sale day)

Wednesday, 3 May 2023

We had a roll up of twenty-seven (27) for this event (28 for lunch – including one guest) which included one new member Rowdy Reid – Welcome Rowdy.

We kicked off our day with smoko in Jack Park, Dalby, followed by Noel Grant providing us with an overview of what we could expect during the live auction & how auction sales work from delivery of cattle to the sale yards, drafting for auction, weighing & transporting away after the auction is complete.

Following are a few observations I made during our guided tour –

  • Dalby is the third largest livestock sale yards (behind Roma & Wagga) in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • The sale yards are owned & operated by Western Downs Regional Council.
  • It costs the sellers $17 per head to process cattle through the sale yards.
  • The stock yards are set up with worker safety & animal welfare at the forefront of all their operations – examples of this include:
    • Drafting of the cattle is mechanized with the operator located on a platform above the drafting yards;
    • Cattle can be drafted into eight separate lots;
    • Auctioneers & buyers etc. move around the stock pens via catwalks (complete with handrails) above;
    • The latest extensions of the sale yards are fully roofed with future planning in place to roof the remaining sections of the yards;
    • Ample drinking water is provided for all stock in the pens along with a drinking fountain for auction attendees;
    • Stock kept overnight are fed in special feeder yards; &
    • The old battery-operated jiggers are no longer in use.

It was a good experience for all of us in attendance to observe the auction process from sale to weighing & have both Will Louden (Auctioneer) & our fellow member Noel Grant (retired Auctioneer) available to guide our tour & answer all our questions – Well done Will & Noel.

Following lunch, members’ birthdays falling in May were acknowledged & celebrated in our usual way viz. Leo Cuskelly, Terry Donnollan, Howard Gregson, Bob Kraut, John Kruger, David Lynch & Ross Morley.

To cap the day off Noel Grant auctioned a grain fed rump donated by him & his wife Karen with the proceeds of the auction to be donated to the buyer’s charity of choice – Warwick, Russell & Tim all bid against each other until Tim was successful with a total of $365 being raised from the auction – St. Vincent de Paul Xmas Hamper Appeal were the recipients of this most generous donation – Noel demonstrated how an auction works, all members enjoyed a bit of fun by being involved in the process, & last but not least a substantial amount of money was raised for a very worthy charity – Well done  all.

Special thanks to all who contributed to making this another safe & enjoyable event for all attendees, including Noel Grant for organizing this event & conducting our lunch time auction; Michael Bourke & Russell Mauch for looking after our finances & name badges including receipting & banking of surplus cash; Peter Thompson for his usual gig of ensuring we all get on & off the coach safely at each stop; Warwick Dingle for ensuring we were all accounted for before our coach departed again after each stop; Lindsay Reis & Ron Lewis for attending to our hydration needs along with loading & unloading of the coach; Warwick Dingle & Russell Mauch for standing in as our first aid officers; Jan Neal for making our much appreciated birthday cake; the kitchen staff at Dalby Leagues Club for our great lunch; Will Louden (supported by Noel) for providing us with a very interesting, comprehensive & informative guided tour; Noel & Karen Grant for their most generous donation of the rump/proceeds of the auction to Tim’s charity of choice – St. Vincent de Paul Xmas Hamper Appeal; Western Downs Regional Council for providing each attendee with a souvenir “Sale Yards” key ring; & last but not least our driver Graham Jones for transporting us to & from Dalby safely.

To conclude, I have no hesitation in declaring this another successful event enjoyed by all attendees.

Dick 8th May 2023