Cavan man Mr. Craig Art Lovett is a sharp operator.
Lovett has proven that he can turn his hand to absolutely anything, as a farmer, livestock auctioneer, a jiver and an aspiring politician, a man mastering many trades.
It’s safe to say the twenty-three year-old is a little more than your average Irish man and from the very start of his career; his involvements to date are testament to that statement.
An inspired love
Being a livestock auctioneer has always been his calling.
‘I used to attend the mart when I was younger. At the age of five, I used to look up on the rostrum and I used say to myself, when I grow up, I want that to be me.’ Craig told Catherina of That’s Farming
Not stopping in his tracks, Lovett fuelled with ambition and enthusiasm, did just that.
In her early days, Lovett juggled a school and work-life balance from the age of seventeen and put his first lot, a suck calf under the hammer at €340, an animal he won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
Lovett didn’t put his education in the shadows and attended a second-level institution from morning to afternoon, but his homework was of a rather unique nature.
‘I used to sell cattle after school in the evening on a weekly basis.’ Craig explained.
In order to keep ahead of the curve, Lovett decided to it was best to learn the ropes and was placed into the capable hands of an experienced professional in the industry.
‘I spent a considerable period serving my time. Gerry Murray an auctioneer from Cavan took me under his wing and acts as a mentor.’ Craig told That’s Farming.
Through this connection which granted him with an apprenticeship, Lovett became a qualified, licenced auctioneer, meaning he was ready to set out paving paths by himself.
Sky-rocketing to success
Four solid years have now passed since the young Cavan man popped on his white coat for the first time and bravely established his own sole-trading enterprise.
Being on the road for this short period of time, the young auctioneer is continuing to cause quite a stir, being one of the latest additions on the block.
He has started to create a rather powerful name for himself, renowned throughout the entire island for his rapid auctioneering chant, bubbly personality that allows his true Cavan roots to shine and his remarkable sense of humour.
Throwing it the filler ‘Right there now Gentleman’ has allowed mart attendees to single Craig out in a rather unique way.
Dominating the Rostrum
Despite the fact he is only a young gun in the industry, Craig is never daunted by a challenge.
Lovett has secured a permanent position in one of the West’s largest marts; Aurivo Balla Mart, Co. Mayo, where he officiates as Livestock auctioneer in ring two, selling the mart’s large entry of heifers on a weekly basis.
The young man became a resident auctioneer in the last twelve months and has big shoes to fill, following the recent retirement of one of the mart’s longest serving and well-respected auctioneers.
His weekly agenda also sees him leading the sheep sale at Ballyjamesduff on a Monday followed by the cattle sale on a Tuesday, a role he secured two years ago.
Most recently, he has ventured to Ballymote Mart, another branchnof Aurivo.
Peak trading season in the Spring and Autumn witnesses auctioneering duties in Cork Marts and Drumshanbo left in the hands of Mr. Lovett.
Identifying the livestock mart as a fabric where business and socialisation come to the fore, finding commonality, the Cavan native understands the value that Livestock Marts have.
‘I look upon it as a position of trust, as the vendor is wishing for you to get the best possible price. The livelihood of others is being placed in my hands, something I am learning to master with this many years of experience. I have perfected it.’ Craig added.
Craig admits there has been a steep learning curve to follow since uptaking this demanding role.
‘I have learned that the auctioneer has to be a good judge of an animal and the person; being the vendor and the potential purchasers. You have to be good with people and good with figures.’ Lovett told Catherina.
Like many that have livestock auctioneering to their name, Craig also has a vast portfolio of Commercial, Residential and Agricultural properties on the market.
‘I could go from selling a heifer to a house in a couple of hours. You meet people from all walks of life and that is where the enjoyment lies. It is an education within itself.’ Craig said.
Many question how the young Cavan man manages to find time to also wear a farming hat.
The second-generation farm currently owns a suckler enterprise, with a twenty- breeding female base.
In order to become more knowledge in this discipline, Lovett has attended many of Ireland’s Agricultural colleges including Gurteen and Ballyhaise, where he completed the Green Cert and Drystock Management courses.
‘I was placed in the top five in the country for the Drystock Management Course and went on as a finalist for Teagasc Student of the Year. I was honoured to receive a presentation from the former Minister of Agriculture.’ Craig explained.
A Political Hat
Describing himself as an entrepreneurial person, Craig has also ran for the local County Cavan election.
After running a very powerful campaign, with the Revival of Rural Ireland for the Youth deeply rooted in his manifesto, mental health, CAP and Agriculture dominated his promises.
However Lovett didn’t quite win the full vote of community members and narrowly missed out on a place, by a small handful of votes.
Considered a small downfall, Craig decided it wasn’t time to call it a day and to hang up his boots.
While heifer-selling tops his Saturday afternoon agenda, Lovett, being a typical country man is an avid country-music follower.
Proving that he most certainly does not have two left feet, Lovett knows his way around the dance halls of Ireland’s leading country stars.
Not many livestock auctioneers or indeed farmers could boast about having An All-Ireland title for jiving.
Making his debut appearance on RTE’s Late Late Show, Craig was crowned as an All-Ireland jiver, with his dance-partner Mairead Gaffney, just another involvement, that puts him a cut above the rest.
‘I teach jiving lessons a couple of nights a week, for pleasure. It’s nice to get away from the draining work aspect of life.'Craig explained.
Readers that aren’t mart attendees or indeed fellow country music fans, may look upon Craig as a man of familiarity.
Many may recall Craig’s most recent entertaining appearance on our screens on the Lidl Trolley Cam.
We are eagerly sitting tight to see what other plans Craig will have up his sleeve.
For now, he is planning on broadening his horizons in the auctioneering and property circles.
You have first heard about Craig here on That’s Farming!
Watch Craig in action below!