Extension makes for cattle comfort

SHOWING THEY CARE: Nambucca Valley District Agricultursal Association members, from left, Peter Trisley (secretary), Jack and Jesse Stanton, Michael Ettelson (president)
SHOWING THEY CARE: Nambucca Valley District Agricultursal Association members, from left, Peter Trisley (secretary), Jack and Jesse Stanton, Michael Ettelson (president)

As the rains do their work, greening up paddocks and putting smiles on farmers faces, business at the Macksville Saleyards is picking up big time.

Brothers Jesse and Jack Stanton say cattle numbers and prices have been excellent and they anticipate a good season ahead ... a recent sale saw 920 head of cattle pass under the hammer.

Growing numbers are not a worry - thanks to the Macksville Show Committee*, of which Jesse is a member - with another 26 brand new yards recently added and capacity increased by a third.

And what yards they are! Modern metal rails with water to every pen, dirt underfoot for cattle comfort and plans to put shade sales over the entire area.

Committee secretary Peter Trisley said animal welfare at the point of sale was increasingly an issue and the extension took that into account.

"The fortnightly sales are the main income for the showground so it is important that we have good facilities," Peter said.

The extension has been three months of hard work by the committee and other volunteers but well worth the effort.

For Jesse the extra space means sales can proceed worry-free.

"We know we have the space for large numbers and we know the yards are safe and clean," Jesse said.

"The new yards have big gates that ensure no-one gets hurt. All effluent flows to the treatment plant and we have rubber around the yards to stop any manure splashing outside."

But the sales are not the only thing happening around the Macksville Showground -

BlazeAid is still a resident there - and will continue to be, apart from two weeks in April when they will move out for show preparations, which begin seriously in early April.

This year's Macksville Show is a special one, falling as it does on the ANZAC weekend and planning is well underway.

But first there is the big gig of the Music Muster next weekend (March 12-15) preceded by a bush dance on Tuesday, March 10.

And let's not forget the haven the showground was during the fires, when 157 horses plus cats, dogs, guinea pigs and rabbits (309 in total) took refuge, not to mention the fire-affected many who camped there for weeks.

What an amazing community facility!

* Trading as Nambucca River District Agricultural Society Ltd.

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