WHEN Alister Watt started work as a trainee stockman at Rawlinson and Brown 40 years ago things were very different.
In that time he's watched the business grow from a workforce of nine to three branches with more than 35 staff.
Despite the many changes, he still loves what he does.
"A job opportunity in Griffith came up so I moved from Trundle in 1973 and started work at Rawlinson and Brown on February 18, 1974," he said.
"The good thing about Rawlinson and Brown was the fact I had some great peers in Les Brown and the late Peter Clift.
"They gave all of their staff a tremendous grounding in agency practice and client relationship, which are the keys to what we do."
Mr Watt started as a trainee stockman, but in 1978 was offered the opportunity to manage Hillston Rawlinson and Brown.
Four-and-a-half years later, he returned to the Griffith branch to work in the livestock division before also moving into rural property and clearing sales in the early '90s.
"The day I started with Rawlinson and Brown we had an all-day clearing sale out at Tresco Benerembah," he said.
"That experience gave me a real passion for clearing sales.
"In my time I've seen three circles of economic downturns in rural Australia. That's where it's important to build up report with clients.
"You get to know them pretty well after so many years.
"The biggest change through my time has been means of communication.
"All of the new devices are fantastic and no doubt they are efficient, but I'm old-fashioned. I prefer face to face, I think it's still very important."
Over the years he has held countless community auctions.
To mark the 40-year milestone, a surprise celebration was held at Yarran Wines last week, where he was presented with a series of photos from over the years, a plaque and a bottle of blue label scotch.