More head of cattle could be headed toward the Visalia Livestock Market, the result of the closure of San Luis Obispo County's last cattle auction house.
Templeton Livestock Market's annual bull sale on Oct. 4 will be its last. After 70 years, the market is closing to make way for a housing development, property owners said Wednesday.
Randy and Beth Baxley have leased the Templeton auction yard for 14 years. Now they will set up a receiving yard in Templeton so ranchers in San Luis Obispo County can send cattle to the couple's Visalia market.
Templeton Properties representative Will Tucker confirmed that a 107-home development will begin construction on the 16-acre property by year's end. The single-family homes will be market priced, he said, and are expected to be available by the end of 2015.
Beth Baxley said Templeton Properties notified them in August that they would have to vacate the property to make way for the new development by mid-October.
The Templeton market on North Main Street just off Highway 101 has been in her husband's family for many years, Beth Baxley said, and the decision to close was not their own.
After the bull sale, the Baxleys will set up a receiving yard that Central Coast ranchers can use to truck livestock to the Visalia market. Ranchers using the receiving yard will have to pay a trucking fee to send the animals to auction, Baxley said. It is expected to be running by Oct. 18.
Cambria cattle rancher David Fiscalini, 60, said the closure is bad news for coastal ranchers.
"It's just terrible -- it's not even that; it's catastrophic," he said. "This county is a big cow county. It's going to cost this county a whole lot of money now that the yard isn't here."