Shepparton’s Sheep Sale
After Easter weekend we were once again granted unwanted days off from the farm. As many people in the house fled to Melbourne the rest of us counted our pennies and decided we’d better wait it out in Shepparton. I’ve mainly filled the last five day with numerous walks in and out of town (33 miles worth in fact) finding little unnecessary reasons to ‘pop in’ and have subsequently succeeded in killing many an hour on Shepparton’s endless streets. On Friday, however, I actually did some planning and organised to visit Shepparton Regional Salesyard to photograph the mornings sheep and lamb auction.
Typically, it was the first day in quite a while that its really lashed down. I set out for the 40 minute walk to the salesyard in my massively inadequate pac-a-mac and decided all there was for it was to get on with it and power walk the whole way. Five minutes later someone was honking and gesturing for me to get in their car, so I hitched a ride down the main road with them and managed to avoided most of the rain.
My unplanned ride meant that I arrived early so I sipped a coffee in the yard’s onsite cafe while enjoying the wonderful countryside livestock smell mixed with the equally wonderful smell of fresh hash browns; I watched trucks filled with sheep bump by while the television in the corner advertised high quality bull semen for sale. I then met co-owner Jack Ladgrove who kindly showed me around, explained the process of the auction and introduced me to buyers, sellers and agents. Having never been to anything like this before, I found the whole experience quite fascinating and enjoyed learning about the process of buying and selling sheep; The kind of ‘behind the scenes’ of what happens to the wool we wear and the meat we eat. Shepparton Regional Salesyard is primarily a cattle market but Jack explained that they hold a weekly sheep and lamb auction for the convenience of local farmers, who would otherwise have to travel out of town to sell their flock. I intend to visit and photograph the cattle market as soon as I can, work permitting. Until then, here are some images from the sheep and lamb sale.