Elders Charleville livestock assessor Gus Foott has only been assessing sheep and goats for 10 months but that hasn't stopped him from being announced as the Queensland sheep award winner of the annual Elders AuctionsPlus awards.
He has been joined by Springsure stalwart Rod Carpenter, the Queensland cattle award winner, in being recognised for their outstanding achievements on the online sales platform this year.
Elders Charleville recorded its best year in terms of sheep sales over the past decade but it was the branching out into the marketing of goats that saw Mr Foott singled out.
Elders northern zone AuctionsPlus manager Bob Jakins said it was his thinking outside the square plus his adaptation to being an assessor in a very short space of time that told in Mr Foott's favour this year.
"His numbers of 7745, considering the dingo problems, are the most for the branch for many years," he said. "He has already almost eclipsed his numbers for last year in the first three months of this year."
The reintroduction of goat sales onto the AuctionsPlus system, thanks in part to Mr Foott's foresight, has started a craze among other agents and vendors, as well as allowing producers to secure breeding stock for Queensland's marginal mulga belt.
"You can sell a ewe PTIC, so why not a nanny," Mr Foott asked.
"In future I think we'll have little nannies scanned for multiples - there's a big future for that sort of thing.
"In the past there's not been a premium for little nannies, they've only been worth meat money, but with AuctionsPlus they've got their whole breeding life ahead.
"People buy steers and wethers to background, the same should be the case for young billies."
Among his results for goats this year was the standout sale of 480 station-mated eight-month-old Boer nannies, which sold for $216 a head, after a reserve of $160 was put on.
Another property west of Charleville sold 1200 little billies, 24kg liveweight, for $122.
"Demand's outweighing supply at the moment, and we've probably been lucky in that it's so dry in the south," Mr Foott commented. "It's driven the demand for good quality store lambs as well."
The majority of the sheep he's sold have been Dorper lambs, partly because of their doing ability in feedlots, Mr Foott said.
Growing up south of Mitchell meant he's known sheep all his life but said he was always thinking of different ways of earning revenue for the branch.
"Every person I've sold for now has a dog fence," he commented.
Mr Foott paid tribute to the trio of Bob Jakins, Peter Sealy and Gary Cartwright for his thorough training in the system, saying it was important to get a good reputation for accurately describing stock.
"There's nothing better than buyers coming back for more," he said.
At the other end of the spectrum, Rod Carpenter has been working as an agent for close to 18 years after a career of contract mustering and property management, and likes the way AuctionsPlus allows buyers to access large lines of good quality stock at a time.
He helped Elders Springsure to the 2019 cattle award after the branch recorded its best year in terms of both numbers assessed and sold using the system.
The number sold, 3763 head, eclipsed those of any other branch across the state.
Mr Carpenter said the branch had been in the top three for the past two or three years and it helped that more sellers had come on board, joining large-scale vendors like Clark and Tait and Consuelo.
"Most of the cattle I deal with come from Comet, Springsure and Rolleston," he said.
"It's all in ticks but if vendors guarantee there won't be a hold-up dipping, I find they move very well on the system."
Most of the lines he's sold this year have been going to feedlots in Queensland and NSW or to backgrounders.
AuctionsPlus award winners are judged on a range of criteria including growth of throughput numbers, low pass-in rates, percentage of sales without major incidence of mis-descriptions, and overall buyer satisfaction.
Mr Jakins said the awards were a fantastic reflection of the successes and technological innovations in Australia's livestock sector.