GOOD NEWS

Nabiac monthly store sale is 25-years old

Original yardsman, Mark Davey, Gooch Agencies principal, James Gooch, auctioneer, Billy Dwyer, scribe, Carol Dwyer, yardsman, Cricket Godbolt and Wallamba show committee member, Dave Reeves.
Original yardsman, Mark Davey, Gooch Agencies principal, James Gooch, auctioneer, Billy Dwyer, scribe, Carol Dwyer, yardsman, Cricket Godbolt and Wallamba show committee member, Dave Reeves.

It's a success story many saleyards of a similar size would like to emulate.

Even during the prolonged dry spell, Nabiac Saleyards continued to yard consistent numbers during its monthly store sale.

But, just two years ago the saleyards was sitting under a cloud of uncertainty.

Fast forward to 2020, and later this month the complex celebrates 25 years since the first pen of cattle went under the auctioneer's hammer.

Gooch Agencies auctioneer, Billy Dwyer has been there from the beginning.

Along with fellow auctioneers, Ronnie Stokes and Craig Young, Billy was instrumental in getting the monthly sale off the ground back in the 1990s.

Located on the Nabiac showgrounds, the century old yards previously held an occasional cattle sale, but nothing on a regular basis.

They were generally used to hold stock during the annual Wallamba show.

Billy Dwyer.

Billy Dwyer.

In the early sale days between 50-100 head were penned before yardings gradually grew stronger, regularly putting 500-600 through during the the late 90s.

And, at one stage 800-900 cattle were penned.

"They were experiencing good seasons out west in those days," Billy said.

"And there were more cows and calves at that time."

With coastal cattle enjoying a strong reputation for doing well in most conditions, local buyers were joined by western purchasers from Narrabri, Tamworth and Trangie.

Within a couple of years the cattle sale was complemented with its now famous goods and chattel auction.

It all came about when some people asked if we could auction their saddles after the cattle sale, Billy said.

"And, then someone wanted to sell those old milk cans and a corn cracker.

"We even ended up with some pigs and goats."

During the past quarter of a century goods and chattels offered for sale has grown from a handful disused farm goods to multiple rows of treasurers taking up the showring.

An added attraction came to the monthly event more than 15 years ago with the introduction of the farmers' market.

"It is a real family outing," Jean Paterson said.

The 84-year-old saleyards canteen operator said the offering presented many good finds at bargain prices.

Billy paid tribute to Jean and her group of 4-5 volunteers who turn up monthly to cater for the 200 plus vendors, purchasers and agents.

The helpers stay late into the event to ensures workers have something to eat and drink.

"They stay until 8pm when we finish up," Billy said.

Money raised from the sales - which includes 14 dozen pies, 10 dozen sausage rolls and 11-20 loaves of bread - is returned to the showground.

Billy believes the Nabiac sale's enviable success has much to do with the day it is held on.

"We were one of the original Saturday sales."

It is in the centre of a hobby farm belt; holding it on a Saturday enables part-time city-based farmers along with local cow cockies to attend the monthly sale, Blly explained.

"This is a strong, loyal and passionate district; they are fiercely loyal people here.

"They love their saleyards and cattle here and they continue to patronise it."

James Gooch has spent thousands to upgrade the yards.

James Gooch has spent thousands to upgrade the yards.

Gloucester-based Gooch Agencies took over the sale in 2006 and began funding an upgrade of the site to meet strict animal welfare regulations.

During the 11-month sale period about 6000 cattle go under the hammer.

"The (2019) season was not too bad here compared to everywhere else, and people took a risk thinking it would rain in November or December.

However, with no rain in January yardings and prices fell, with cows and calves making just $700.

"Now the whole job has turned around and the same cows are making around $1600."