Throughout the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Markethill and district has remained true to its agricultural roots. Unlike other areas, which have sold pastoral land for urban development, Markethill and its community have remained essentially a rural people. The men and women who farm this land can trace their family's roots on this land back through many generations.
Changes there have been, especially in the realm of machinery. Though farming remains labour intensive, increased mechanisation has eased the burden and allowed for increasing acreage to be cultivated. It is no longer common to see a farmer ploughing his land with a team of horses and sadly the decline of such practices have led to the disappearance of associated industries such as blacksmithing.
In Markethill at least, the Livestock Market remains a centre of attention and continues to conduct a considerable volume of agricultural trade. Despite the setbacks of recent years, agriculture in this area continues to be an important source of employment and helps the area retain its timeless quality.
For more on farming (including recorded interviews about how farming has changed over recent years), see the section People > Work > Farming.
In the accompanying recording, Edwin McWilliams and Margaret Watson talk about the changes in farming practices brought about by the use of chemicals after the Second World War.
Use the audio controller to listen to this talk, given in 2003.
In the accompanying recording, Hampton Hewitt talks about Markethill Livestock Sales and the mart's move to its new site in on Cladymilltown Road in Cordrummond beside Kilbracks (9min 02s).
Use the audio controller to listen to this talk, given in 2014.