Waterford Ross Co-Operative Marts Ltd was established in 1972 following a merger of the old Waterford and New Ross Marts. Located in Rosbercon, which straddles the Kilkenny-Wexford border, the Mart provides a platform for farmers from the neighbouring counties of Wexford, Kilkenny and Waterford to buy and sell stock.
Boasting an outstanding reputation, the Waterford Ross Mart comes alive on Saturdays and Mondays when it plays host to its popular calf / cattle and sheep sales respectively. The calf sales start at 10am every Saturday and are followed by the cattle sales at 10.30am. The sheep sales commence at 10am each Monday.
In addition, a dairy and suckler sale takes place every second Friday from early February to early May, while a weanling sale is held every Monday at 5pm from September to November. The Mart’s annual Dairy Show & Sale took place on Friday, February 9 last, while a recent Simmental sale also proved a big hit. It also hosts an annual Pedigree Ram Sale in September. Jim Bushe is the main cattle and sheep auctioneer, while Richard Ryan is the calf auctioneer.
“We have been providing a first-class livestock auctioneering service for over 45 years,” Waterford Ross Mart manager Richard Kirwan says.
“In that time, we have earned an excellent reputation with the local farming community. Our location in Rosbercon, which was the original site of the old New Ross Mart, is ideal as its central to our customer-base in Wexford, Kilkenny and Waterford. Wexford, Waterford and south Kilkenny are great areas for dairy farming, while Wexford is also a strong sheep county. As well as attracting buyers and sellers from the South-East, we also attract buyers from all over Ireland.”
The Mart has many shareholders, while its nine committee members are drawn equally from Wexford, Kilkenny and Waterford. Chairman Eddie Power is from Waterford and vice-chairman Padraig O’Keeffe is from Wexford. The other committee members are Matt Foley and Billy O’Hanlon (both Wexford), Eamon Phelan, John Ryan and Michael Power (all Kilkenny) and Pat Keane and John O’Riordan (both Waterford).
“The Mart has played an important role in the local community down through the years. It has been of huge service to local farmers and prides itself on customer service. Waterford Ross Mart also contributes handsomely to the local economy and provides a social outlet for farmers who look forward to meeting up every week,” Richard adds.
Committed to providing buyers and sellers with a fair platform, Waterford Ross Mart is part of the ICOS (Irish Co-operative Organisation Society) whose core business is to provide vision, leadership and value to the co-operative movement in Ireland. ICOS member co-operatives and their associated companies collectively have over 150,000 individual members, employ 12,000 people in Ireland (a further 24,000 abroad) and have a combined turnover of almost €15 billion.
Richard oversees the day-to-day running of the Mart which employs a number of ring men on a part-time basis. It goes without saying that the ring men are highly experienced when it comes to handling stock.
The cattle and sheep in the region are renowned for their quality and ability to thrive after purchase, hence the reason why Waterford Ross Mart attracts buyers from far and wide.
Waterford Ross Mart sells 35,000 sheep, 29,000 cattle and 12,000 calves annually. It prides itself on being one of the most modern, safest, cleanest and friendliest marts in the country. It uses Newline Auction Management Software, which provides all the information buyers and sellers need to know from the weight of the animal to its movement, test dates and whether it’s from a quality assured farm.
“We’re continuously investing in our facilities,” Richard explains.
“We have two sale rings, including a new state-of-the-art calf ring. We recently tarred the driveway and plan to put in new walkways and to roof the rest of the yard. There is loads of space for parking, while the Mart is within a short distance of the M9 Dublin-Waterford Motorway and the N25 Cork-Rosslare Road. We couldn’t ask for a better location.”
Part of the appeal of the Saturday morning calf and cattle sales is the fact that they suit part-time farmers. “They don’t have to take time off work, which is a big thing for them. There are a lot of part-time farmers who wouldn’t be in a position to attend if those sales were held during the week,” he points out.
“We are always striving for improvement and trying to give our customers what they want. Even when prices aren’t good, there is always a strong demand for stock. On behalf of our shareholders, committee and staff, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers and hauliers for their continued support.”
Waterford Ross Co-Operative Marts Ltd
Telephone: 051 421624 / 086 8452402
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 6 No 4, June/July 2018