LAA Marts the Heart – New Auctioneer of the Year
20th December 2018
Encouraging the next generation of farmers to utilise livestock auctions…
Jonty Cliffe named New Auctioneer of the Year 2018
A desire to encourage the next generation of farmers to utilise livestock auctions, and a focus on ‘the ‘three e’s’ of energy, enthusiasm and expertise, has seen Wright Marshall auctioneer, Jonty Cliffe, pick up the New Auctioneer of the Year Award 2018.
Thriving off the ringside atmosphere, and being passionate about the auction system, Jonty enjoys supporting farmers, and advising on the opportunities available to them.
“For me auctioneering is not just a career, it is a way of life,” explains Jonty. “I put as many hours in as I can communicating with clients, I feel it is the most important part of my job. Being in regular contact builds trust, respect and relationships.
“I need the buyers just as much as I need the sellers, they are both vitally important. I am determined to build relationships with each buyer and seller entering the market, and I stay in touch regularly, either through farm visits, a ‘phone call or even a text message!”
Operating out of Beeston Castle Auction Centre, Jonty spends three days a week within the auction sales, either selling, organising sales or visiting and contacting farmers. Primarily he sells 400-500 rearing calves every Friday, but he also sells weanlings, farm machinery, equine and horticulture. He carries out regular private sales of Tb restricted cattle, and he is also a Chartered Surveyor and Valuer, spending two days a week undertaking rural professional practice work.
Jonty, 25, an active member of Cheshire Young Farmers, is a dairy farmer’s son from Nantwich. His parents and brother milk 350 dairy cows, and at the weekends you will find Jonty helping on the family farm, when he is not turning out for Nags Head Bunbury Football Club.
This background leaves Jonty well placed to comment on the industry, and he feels strongly that livestock auctions are crucial to its future. “There is no other sales method that can accumulate buyers all gathered into one place to facilitate the best price and market outlet for all categories of livestock,” he says.
“Equally, the livestock auction provides the unique opportunity for buyers to assess stock before purchase and only buy what they want, not what is out of spec for their requirements. This marketing system ensures the livestock sector remains open, transparent and competitive.”
Jonty feels the personal touch is everything, and he is particularly keen to encourage the next generation of farmers to use the auction marts to their full advantage. “The work you do outside of the ring is just as important as what is done in it. I attend to farmer’s needs, recommend the correct sale for them, as well as providing valuations and advice on when stock is ready to sell.
“After a sale I will spend up to an hour texting and calling farmers to let them know how their trade was, I think that extra effort goes a long way. I find social media is also an increasingly key tool.
“While we are adapting to the needs of the modern farmer, and embracing new technologies and initiatives, nothing will take over the essence of the market, which is to bring buyers and sellers together to enable the better exchange of a unique product, a live animal.”
On his award success, Jonty adds, “It is a great honour to have won this award. I feel privileged to have been recognised for what I do, even though I just feel I am doing my job to the best of my ability.”
Chris Dodds, executive secretary of the Livestock Auctioneers Association concludes, “Jonty is a great example of a young professional, with a passion for the industry and the desire to get the best results for both his buyers and vendors. His approach is richly deserving of this recognition.”