FRIENDS, family and colleagues came together earlier this month to celebrate David Skinner’s 70 years of continual service to Websters, Roberts and Nutrien.
In front of large crowd at the Brighton Nutrien store, David recounted his years in service to the agricultural industry.
He started his journey in December 1950 when, after his father’s death, his former employer, AG Websters, offered him employment.
David, still in school at the time, decided to take up the role, and before long, found himself drawn into the consultancy side of the business.
“Since that day, I’ve never applied for a job in my life,” David recounted.
In 1951, David was drafted into National Service but returned to Websters before his 21st birthday, where he spent his time split between the Bridgewater to Sorell sales.
Building his knowledge and skills over time, he eventually obtained his auctioneers licence and moved into selling poultry and vegetables in Bridgewater, and dairy cattle in Sorell.
In 1956, when AG Websters merged with the Tasmanian Woolgrowers Agency, David became a representative for Webster Woolgrowers, where he began to add wool sales to his repertoire.
“I remember there were 16 saleyards in the South those days that were regularly used, Rosegarland, Nubeena, Koonya, Tunnick, Colebrook, then Tunbridge was built to take the load off Oatlands.
“The big sales in those days were the Bothwell cattle sale and the major Oatlands sheep sale.
There was always tremendous competition between Roberts and Websters at those sales, we always did well with the sheep, but Roberts had the cattle sales.”
Over his time, David was part of the state’s first $1 million property sale, several further mergers, until finally, what he said was “the big one”.
“In 1999-2000, Roberts took over Websters, and I began working for them, which was something I never thought would happen.
I’d been working against them for 30 years, now they wanted me with them.”
Seventy years after his first shift, David can be spotted at saleyards around Tasmania, and his legacy has continued.
His son Peter and grandson Drew have both worked under the Websters/Roberts/ Nutrien umbrella over the years, the Skinners now contributing four generations to the Tasmanian agricultural industry