Market day in the heart of Westcountry livestock farming country saw the introduction of a newcomer to the rural scene yesterday.
Westcountry Farmer, the new monthly magazine published by the Western Morning News was officially launched at Holsworthy Market, with the kind permission of Kivells auctioneers and the support of Mole Valley Farmers and Andrew Symons Agricultural Engineers, who loaned a tractor and trailer for the occasion.
WMN Editor Bill Martin, Farming and Rural Affairs Editor Philip Bowern and Farming and Rural Affairs Reporter Athwenna Irons met with market regulars from as far afield as Exmoor in the east and Camborne in the west who were buying and selling sheep and cattle.
The first issue of Westcountry Farmer, which took sheep farming as its theme, was well-received by both readers and advertisers. Readers who bought their copy with the WMN at yesterday’s market also received a free Westcountry Views calendar, published by the WMN.
James Morrish, of Kivells, said it was a good day for business for a mid-January market, with 260 cattle – at an average price of £700 and the best reaching £1,400 – finding buyers. Sheep sales were strong too, with 800 sold – the best making £172 – while 160 calves also went under the auctioneer’s hammer, the best for a price of £400.
Holsworthy market is moving later this year to a new purpose-built site on the edge of town, providing more space for sales in what will be the most up-to-date facility of its kind in the Westcountry.
Mr Morrish said: “It will be much more than a livestock market; it will be an agri-centre.”
Next month’s Westcountry Farmer, published on February 19, will focus on dairying.