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Auction mart sold

A Ponoka auction mart that’s been selling cattle and other livestock since 1957 has been sold itself.

Henry and Andrea Thalen have purchased Vold, Jones & Vold Auction Co. Ltd. from the Vold family. The deal closed on Aug. 1, with the Thalens overseeing their first sale last Wednesday.

“It went well,” said Morris Thalen, who is helping his son Henry with the changeover.

Morris said it’s business as usual, with the auctioneers and other staff still there, and even the name remaining the same.

“The business was built on honesty and integrity, and that’s something we want to carry on.”

Blair Vold, who was managing the business, will continue to oversee Vold, Jones & Vold’s Canadian Satellite Livestock Auction. And his son Nansen remains a member of the company’s management team.

“It gives me a little more freedom to get out on the road and the country now that they’re looking after the mechanics of the business in town,” said Vold of his new role.

He said the change in ownership was not something he’d been planning on.

“I had nothing on the horizon for selling, but then when they came along with their proposal and their offer, we looked at it and it was good for both sides.”

For the Thalens, a livestock auction seemed a good fit for their skills and interests.

The family operated Morsan Farms near Ponoka for almost 20 years, before selling that dairy and cattle breeding business to WestCoast Holsteins of Chilliwack, B.C. this spring. Morris and his wife Sandra had started Morsan Farms near Chilliwack in 1981, and Henry was managing the operation at the time of its sale.

“I just encouraged him to do something different,” said Morris. “This opportunity came up and he was pretty excited about it.”

Vold, Jones & Vold Auction was ag-related, local and well-established, he explained.

Vold said he was pleased to sell to buyers with the reputation of the Thalens, and he thinks Henry will be good for the auction mart.

“He’s enthusiastic and knows the business good. He’s going to do well.”

In addition to the Ponoka auction mart and Canadian Satellite Livestock Auction, the Thalens have taken over Vold, Jones & Vold’s auction mart in Dawson Creek, B.C. Vold has sold his interest in a third Vold, Jones & Vold auction mart, in Stavely, to Rob Bergevin — his partner in there.

Morris said the Ponoka auction mart employs about 10 full-time staff, with that number swelling to between 30 and 60 on sale days.

Vold, Jones & Vold Auction was started 57 years ago by Vold’s father Ralph, along with Ralph’s brother Harry, and their business partners Bill and Shorty Jones. Ralph has remained active in the business, with Blair becoming involved in 1970 when he was 16.

Blair pointed out that his family’s involvement in the local livestock industry actually predates Vold, Jones & Vold Auction by more than 60 years.

“The Vold family came in 1895 to the Ponoka area and they’ve been involved in the livestock and auctioneering business ever since.”

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