In 1978, a long-time farmer and cattle dealer, Ivan Walker and his son, Frank, started an auction business with the help of a good friend and great auctioneer, Pete Robinson, at our current location on County Highway 21 in Franklin, New York. Ivan remained active in the business until his death in 2001.
Although Ivan and Pete have both passed away, they are still fondly remembered to this day by customers, friends, and family. Folks still remember Ivan blowing the horn on the auction truck and shouting, “Are we having an auction today?” to get the auction started. Frank and his wife, Jennifer, still run the business with the same old-fashioned values that Ivan and Pete believed in.
Frank became active in the business after graduation from Franklin Central School. Back then, he farmed and dealt cattle and machinery on a daily basis. Frank graduated from Missouri Auction School in 1985. In 1990, the Walkers purchased the Luther Livestock facility in Central Bridge, New York, which was renamed Frank Walker Livestock. The livestock market thrived, and machinery auctions were still held on a monthly basis in Franklin. In 2001, Frank and Jennifer returned to Franklin after selling the livestock market to Empire Livestock. Once again, Frank farmed, dealt cattle and machinery, and held bi-monthly machinery auctions at the yard. In 2003, Catskill Tractor, a CaseIH and Massey Ferguson dealership, was acquired in the village of Franklin. The machinery auctions were then moved and consolidated into the Catskill Tractor operation. Frank sold Catskill Tractor to White’s Farm Supply in 2013 and returned to his roots, concentrating on the auction business.
Today, the auction business has been modernized considerably since the 70s. Computers, credit card machines, the internet, cell phones, and email have all played a role in improving the process. All in all, product knowledge, honesty, and working hard for a fair market value are still paramount to our success, as they always were to Ivan and Pete. We feel strongly that these values should be of significant importance to both buyers and sellers in the auction marketplace of today.