KERWOOD — A farmer who runs a yearly online-only bull and heifer sale says he may tweak it next year to also offer a more traditional onsite auction.
Mike Earley, of Earley Livestock at Kerwood in Western Ontario, sees both the upside and downside of online-only auction sales.
“There are a lot of people right now that don’t have Internet that we’re probably doing business with,” he said. “To get to them, it’s difficult. We have to figure out how to appease them. (The Internet) is a good tool. Some people like it, some people don’t.”
People without access to the Internet could bid over the phone, or even visit the farm to use the farm’s computers to place a bid, as two people did while the sale ran down.
Having a traditional sale also comes with its share of headaches, said Earley, who held a traditional sale for 30 years.
“It’s a lot of work, it’s a lot of expense, it’s disturbing the bulls just by moving them,” he said. “When you don’t have a lot of numbers to sell, how do you do it best to recoup your investment and time with these animals? That’s the hard part.”
This year’s third annual online sale, which wrapped up on March 26, saw nine bulls sell for an average $4,600 and four heifers fetch an average of $3,820. One winning bid came from Alberta. The highest-priced animal was Kade’s Riddler 22E PB Simmental, which sold for $6,000 to the Piggotts in Brigden.