William aims to help raise the standards

CALF AUCTIONS: William Alexander
CALF AUCTIONS: William Alexander
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William Alexander, 23, is among a new crop of graduates who will be taking to the platform to raise standards at sales of sheep, cattle and pigs at livestock auction markets across England and Wales.

The former Quernmore Primary School and Lancaster Royal Grammar School pupil recently completed a degree in agriculture at Harper Adams University, in Shropshire.

He is now doping further studies so he can become a qualified livestock auctioneer specially trained to manage the demands of the UK’s professional livestock auction markets sector.

William joined the Lancaster and South Kendal based North West Auctions in June 2013.

He is not from a farming family, but with his own sheep and a small acreage to manage, he is now selling calves on a weekly basis at the Lancaster mart.

William said: “My job as a fieldsman and trainee auctioneer involves me in promoting the shows and sales, keeping our customers happy, canvassing for stock and general auction work on sale days.

“I’ve also recently started selling on Fridays at Lancaster as the calf auctioneer.”

He said the appeal of the course is that it tackles the theory behind the job, including health and safety and animal welfare.

He added: “We have to be operating at a standard where no fault can be found, especially in handling and moving animals around, so training is becoming more important than ever.”

Chris Dodds, from the Livestock Auctioneers Association said: “It’s good to see the next generation coming through with such ability and enthusiasm.

“The markets are continually modernising, so we need the right people to run them in the future.”

William, has also helped boost Lancaster dairy sales.

Monday’s show and sale of pedigree and commercial dairy cattle had over three times the number of entries compared to the same time last year.

The sales are increasingly attracting buyers from South Wales, Ireland, South West Scotland, Lancashire, Cumbria, Yorkshire and the Midland counties as well as making headlines with realised prices.