Concerns about dust billowing in the town and effluent running into the creek saw the Naracoorte saleyards move in the early 1970s from the railway yards to a 22 hectare site on the eastern outskirts of the town.
Fifty year on the Naracoorte Regional Livestock Exchange has stood the test of time and has grown into the state's largest saleyards by throughput, with about 85,000 cattle and 500,000 sheep and lambs sold in the facility each year.
Last week agents, buyers, board members and current and former saleyard employees gathered to celebrate the milestone.
The first planning meeting for the yards was held in 1970 with district council clerk Dudley Rule outlining the need for a selling centre to accommodate 2000 cattle and 20,000 sheep.
Three years on the first sale was held on December 14 1973 with 1140 cattle sold in two hours and 18 minutes. This was much quicker than the ring selling which had occurred in the railway yards.
Adelaide Hills based engineer Armin Huefner who completed the concept design and managed the project for the District Council of Naracoorte, says the project "changed his life" the first of many yards he designed across Australia in the next few decades.
He worked closely with councillor Clem Williamson - known as the father of the yards- on the "industry leading design".
"In the 1960s and early 1970s there were very few saleyards being designed and constructed and those that did happen around that time were based on the original design of 1842 when someone said take a panel and a bit of timber and put a post in the ground and make a paddock of some sort and then go and sell," he said.
"That's not what happened at Naracoorte, Clem and I had regular meetings where every detail of the facility was discussed, contemplated and amended to fit into a certain budget.
"We went back to engineering basics, we didn't copy things just because they happened to be somewhere else."
Mr Heufner says the yards were designed on the horizontal and then tilted up because of the major continuing cost, effluent collection.
An inventory of building materials included 383,000 square feet of reinforcing mesh, 106,000ft of karri timber rails and 6.3 miles of 40 pound railway sleepers which were used for posts.
Mr Huefner said he was proud to have played a role in the yard's creation and commended the council for the yards' economic success.
"In the current council's management plan I read the value of the yards is about $11m but the real cost is probably $20m to $30m which is a lot to get for the $500,000 that was spent," he said.
"The real bottom line is the community benefit including the psychological impact on the district which must be immeasurable."
NRLE board chair Cameron Grundy also acknowledges the facility is a major asset for the community from the local producers receiving strong competition on their sheep and cattle, to retailers benefitting from more people coming into the town.
In the past five years he says council has invested $7.6m on upgrades including expanding the truck wash, upgrade of waste water management, replacement of timber selling pens with steel ones and new unloading ramps to better accommodate B-doubles and even road trains.
One of the biggest projects has been 23,000 square metres of roof over the cattle yards which has made a big difference in animal welfare and comfort of buyers, along with adding soft flooring to the cattle pens.
Mr Grundy says more investment is required to achieve their vision of being the "premier livestock selling centre for SA and Vic.
Planned projects for the next five years will include more rainwater harvesting, replacement of the bull selling pens and sheep yard upgrades including preparing for eID and sheep shade structures.
"We will work collaboratively with stakeholders to be the industry leader in livestock handling and selling in safe, modern facilities and will have a minimal impact on the environment while deriving financial benefits for the community, stakeholders and council." he said.