At a time when career changes are expected many times in a lifetime, David Talbot is about to rack up 50 years in Tasmanian livestock.
Mr Talbot, also known as Scratchie, left school at 15 to pursue a job with HM Kidd in a shearing shed.
He then moved on to Websters’ livestock department, Stopford & Gofton and Roberts before landing at Elders Livestock in 1999, which is where he has stayed.
Livestock – or more accurately sheep – has been in the Talbot family for the past three generations.
His grandfather managed the Foster properties in the Midlands and his father, who is now 95, is still running the family farm, also in the Midlands.
“We have four farms between us,” Mr Talbot said.
“My dad exhibited at the national Sheep Breeders Show and I showed sheep for 25 years,” he said.
Starting out selling chickens, organising transport for and sales of livestock, Mr Talbot, 66, later focused on auctioneering and sourcing livestock for butchers and processors.
He is also a qualified wool classer and runs 3500 sheep when he is not servicing more than 300 livestock clients around the state.
“I’ve been in the job so long my clients have become my friends,” Mr Talbot said.
“They trust you for your knowledge in what you do,” he said.
One of Mr Talbot’s first clients, Mac Kidd, said Mr Talbot worked harder than any agent he knew.
“Having known David since he left school and worked for me in the shearing industry, I was very impressed with his work ethic,” Mr Kidd said.
“When he became a stock agent it was natural for me to follow him. I have never been let down by this decision. His ability to judge markets, either buying or selling is remarkable.
“His loyalty to his clients is 110 per cent. David never seems to tire, his enthusiasm to me makes me feel important as I am sure it does to all his other clients,” he said.
With Mr Kidd and his father setting the example for longevity in careers, Mr Talbot said retirement was not on the cards any time soon.
“My father says hard work never harmed anyone. I’ve got no plans to stop,” he said.
And it seems that the Talbot family business will continue for a fourth generation, with Mr Talbot’s son farming sheep and crops at Evandale.
“We’ve got sheep in our blood,” Mr Talbot said.
Also a footballer for 17 years, Mr Talbot still has a good relationship with Old Scotch Collegians Football Club.
His anniversary will be marked with a special presentation by Elders at the next weaner sale in Powranna on April 27.