COVID-19 shifts bull buyers online
As auction marts move to curb the disease's spread, technology is connecting buyers and sellers.
By Lisa Guenther, Canadian Cattlemen
March 22, 2020
As bull sale season stretches into the spring, online sales are helping the industry cut COVID-19 risks while facilitating commerce.
Last week, the Livestock Market Association of Canada (LMAC) held an emergency meeting on how to respond to the pandemic. The association decided follow Health Canada’s lead on limiting crowd size and encouraging social distancing and sanitation during sales.
“Certainly everybody can appreciate that we’re in the heart of our bull sale season here in Canada and it’s one of those times of year where we actually need commerce to take place between buyers and sellers,” said Michael Latimer, executive director of the Canadian Beef Breeds Council, during an online town hall outlining the beef industry’s response to the pandemic.
“I think it’s pretty clear that our leadership doesn’t want food production to shut down,” said Jason Danard, vice president at Calgary Stockyards and a LMAC director, during an interview.
As part of the pandemic response, auction marts are encouraging people to register online to watch or bid on bull sales. During an interview, Mark Shologan, purebred sales director at online platform DLMS, said they’ve seen a “major spike” in online bidding in recent days.
Danard, who is also a principal at online platform TEAM, also noted a surge of new online registrants last week. It’s like nothing he’s seen in his 20 years of offering online sales, Danard added. A few days ago, Danard had a bull sale with Travis Foote of Footprint Farms. Foote was prepared for online bidding, having posted video of the bulls online before the sale...
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