Changing habits and COVID-19 have opened the way for another key player in the online livestock auction system.

 Story Amanda Burdon  Photos Matt Miegel

Guy Gallen grew up on the rails at the Gunnedah saleyards, watching his father Frank buying and selling livestock. Every Tuesday, a crowd of hatted folk still gather to have a yarn, a cup of tea and a scone, and see whose bellowing beasts command the top price. 

“Dad started as a stock and station agent in 1950 and I was a ’55 drop,” Guy says. “I worked before and after school in his business [Jacob and Anderson], and the minute I left school at 16 I walked straight into the saleyards. I’m born-and-bred saleyards; it’s in my blood.”

But in recent years Guy had begun to see the saleyard crowd thinning as more younger producers and buyers entered the market and moved from physical auctions to the online realm. AuctionsPlus had long held a monopoly on such sales and Guy believed a little healthy competition was needed. 

“A monopoly is not good for any industry, so we decided to throw our hat into the ring and establish FarmGate Auctions,” he says. “We’ve developed our platform in close cooperation with like-minded producers, agents and processors, who are all time-poor these days and looking to save money where they can. We hope it will result in a better outcome for everyone.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #133

Outback Magazine: Oct/Nov 2020