Celebrating a beefed up 2017
THE Dalby cattle industry has shut up shop for 2017, but not before hailing the year a big success both for farmers and the saleyards themselves.
Councillor for facilities Ray Brown said the past 12 months has brought about plenty of positives.
"The agricultural sector right across the Western Downs had a strong year,” Cr Brown said.
"210,000 head of cattle went through the saleyard facility in 2017, that's over $260 million worth of product. That's a substantial contribution to the GDP.”
With the Dalby Saleyards undergoing a couple of facelifts this year, Cr Brown said the set-up is setting the standard.
"We're recognised as an industry leader, our processing facility is seen in Queensland, Australia and internationally as a benchmark and we've had other countries try and emulate what we do here in Dalby,” he said.
"We set the standard in animal welfare and occupational health and safety.
"We have had the new bull ring installed this year and we have WiFi and the capacity to live stream; it's a $12 million dollar facility.
"We're moving into the future and we're finding new ways that we can sell our product.
"We've also got a multi-million dollar washdown facility that is used by the mining industry and even people who just own boats.”
Cr Brown said moving into next year the local industry needs to take full advantage of the strong platform that has been built in 2018.
"Heading into 2018 we've gained EU accreditation, which means we are able to put our stock into that market.
"Our main aim is to present the cattle as well as we can to attract the maximum money.
"It's been a very good year, we've had a very positive couple of years and we're looking forward to a strong 2018.”
Cr Brown also emphasised the fact that a strong cattle scene is a boost for the whole town.
"There is a flow on effect for the whole community when vendors and buyers come into town. They might need new tyres for their truck, get their vehicle serviced, shop at Betros Brothers and so on. That money being spent is staying in our region and that's crucial.”
GDL livestock agent Anthony O'Dwyer agreed that 2017 was a strong year for the local cattle industry.
"The year was good for us... the price per head went up this year,” Mr O'Dwyer said.
"The weather is also coming good in the west, particularly towards the St George area.”
The next sale at the Dalby Saleyards will be held on Wednesday, January 10.