Recent History – 2000
Sept. 22, 2000
From Vancouver Island to Manitoba and numerous points between, folks in the sheep business flocked to Dawson Creek for the 7th annual Peace Country Sheep Sale, Sept. 19.
Once again the Peace Country Livestock Auction Mart was the site, and once again elbowroom was at a premium as the throng of buyers, sellers and spectators made their way through the series of pens and gates following auctioneer Mike Kosick.
Nancy Peterson is the chairperson for the sale — a big job that she and a large group of volunteers undertake each year at about this time. In previous efforts, widespread sleep deprivation seemed to be the order of the day.
Asked how this year’s event was stacking up, Peterson said, “It’s been somewhat better having the sale on Tuesday instead of Saturday. We haven’t had to work around a big cow sale on Thursday.” “It was tough before because we were having to stay up all night to get the auction market prepared. We had a few more days to do that this year.”
Another difference this year was the taking in of some sheep ahead of time to ease the overall congestion. The chairperson admitted there was still a fatigue factor, “but you feel a little more in control.”
At this point, Peterson made sure to mention the appreciated efforts of the “between 60 and 100 volunteers,” without whom the show could not go on.
In terms of volume and prices, the sale was shaping up well by early afternoon, if not on pace to set a record.
According to Peterson, “We had 4,250 head consigned. That can change because a few cancel and a few arrive that haven’t consigned.” Before all the final accounting was done it looked as though this year’s numbers could end up with a third-place ranking. A good assortment of herding and guardian dogs was also on offer. A reflection of the rising profile of the Peace Country Sheep Sale, Peterson noted that representatives of Sheep Canada Magazine, and Alberta Agriculture, were up from Calgary taking a look at how the local sale is run.
Making his third trip to the local sale from Chemainus on Vancouver Island, Norman Quist described his business and why he heads north to Dawson Creek.
“We have a little plant there, mainly killing lambs, around 8,000 a year. There’s a certain quality of lamb that we’re after and I buy what I can here of what’s available. I like the quality of lambs in the Peace country.”
Quist is making the most of his trip.
“We were down at the Williams Lake sale on Saturday, and I buy a lot of lambs privately.” Quist calls the Victoria lamb market excellent.
Sylvia Griffith of Farmington has sheep of her own plus a considerable history with 4-H. This is not the first, or last time she’ll volunteer her time and effort to help make the PCSS a success.
“Today I made sure my 4-H kids got in line in the proper order, got out in the show ring and sold their lambs.” Griffith said there’s a tangible team spirit among the volunteers.
“We all work with each other. Everything just — works!”