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After-school hours with grandad pay off for Josh

by Terry Sim, 11 August 2017

Noel Saffin and his grandson Josh McDonald at the Warrnambool saleyards.

WORKING after school with his grandfather in the Warrnambool saleyards has paid off for young stock agent Josh McDonald.

His patter, knowledge of livestock values and confidence has won the SKB Rodwells agent the Hamilton Sheepvention Young Auctioneers Competition and $1000 in prizemoney despite only starting work as an agent in January last year.

Sheepvention president Gordon Last said the event had the largest cash purse of any similar competition in Australia.

Josh outsold five other young auctioneers from across Victoria in the Sheepvention ram shed, selling two steers and a ram in the mock auction.

Second place in the competition went to Landmark Wangaratta agent Murray Bennett and Sam Broomby from Elders Casterton was third. The other contestants were Matt Rowlands from BRC Mildura, who won the encouragement award, Matt Jones from Elders Mortlake, and james Pike from JM Ellis and Co, Hamilton.

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Josh said since he could walk, he had followed his grand father — retired Warrnambool stock agent Noel Saffin – around saleyards. He went to auctioneers school last year.

SKB Rodwells agent Josh McDonald selling at Sheepvention.

Joint competition judge and Elders stud stock auctioneer Ross Milne said Josh sold well.

“He’s got a good strong voice, but the competition was very even.

“So there really wasn’t much competition from the third to the first in the competition.”

Mr Milne said all the young auctioneers did a good job and he advised them to keep practicing their craft including their patter to boost their confidence.

“Certainly the industry is in great hands and it is refreshing to have this in this environment so these young guys can show their wares.”

Josh currently sells cows and bulls at the Warrnambool saleyards and is glad he made the choice to be a stock agent.

“Yes definitely, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Noel Saffin said he was very proud of his grandson.

“He’s been doing very well and he loves it.

“He has the ability and he has always loved his stock work.”

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