Are we losing traditional sheep farming skills?
Farmers must continue to support their local marts which are the lifeblood of rural communities, says mart manager and local politician Dan McCarthy.
Since taking over at the helm of Kenmare Mart, Co Kerry in 2004, the part-time sheep farmer has expanded the mart's trade and also helped turn it in to a community amenity.
Apart from providing space for new businesses including a tyre centre and veterinary products company, it also hosts a 'Men's Shed' and social events.
Mr McCarthy's vision for the mart made headlines two years ago when he offered out the premises as wedding venue with a difference.
"Unfortunately we've had no wedding yet but hopefully our day will come," he told last week's Teagasc Hill Sheep Conference.
"It is a kind of a meeting place as well a social thing as much as anything," he adds about the mart, which services a large catchment area across south Kerry and west Cork.
"We pride ourselves on the service that we provide to farmers and the rural community. I am always available to meet or speak to customers seven days a week."
When Mr McCarthy (pictured) took over as mart manager in 2004, it was selling approximately 25,000 sheep a year and around 5,000 cattle.