Serving Farmers and Ranchers Through Targeted Risk Management Education

Western Extension Risk Management Education Center

Low-Stress Cattle Handling Training

Cattle handlers and producers are implementing improved risk management strategies utilizing low-stress cattle handling techniques, improving safety, morale, retention in the workforce and health, performance, and meat quality in cattle.

Two hundred seventy seminar participants including cattle producers, managers, employees, family members, youth, vets, etc. represented the production/harvest of over 800,000 cattle. Gathered and ready to load in Molson, WA Aaron Raapcropped

Results showed that 270 producers had improved understanding of how low-stress cattle handling techniques can improve animal safety, health, performance, meat quality, and perception of the beef cattle industry and can improve caregiver/worker/transporter/family safety, morale, and retention in the cattle industry, reducing the potential for injury, days off work, and compensation claims; 100 implemented one or more low-stress cattle handling techniques; 50 cattle feeding and animal harvest owners/managers/supervisors required employees to implement one or more low-stress cattle handling techniques to increase cattle performance, carcass quality, worker safety and public perception of animal care at concentrated animal facilities.

The health, stress and well being outcomes experienced by these farm operations contributed to improved economic performance of the ranches and feed yards that participated in the project.

Producer Stories:

Shipping Cows and Calves from Summer pasture in Molson, WA back to the Basin for Fall pasture Raap cropped“The veterinarian showed us that by handling the cattle better, they take to the  vaccinations better and are less likely to get sick. This cuts down on needing to give antibiotics just by handling them better. We tried this method on 45 replacement heifers, and for the first time had no sick cattle. Without the clinic that would never have happened. Learning a better way to handle the cattle now has a ripple effect through the whole operation.”
Aaron Raap, Aaron Raap Farm,  Ephrata Washington

IMG_20130928_153643_796 English cattle cropped“The most beneficial part of the program was creating a positive environment for both livestock and employees. We want the public to know that we are proud of what we do and how we do it. We have the comfort of our livestock in the front of our minds every day. We understand that it is not only the right thing to do, but it is the only  way for our livestock to reach their maximum genetic potential. As for our employees, our company is only as good as the people we have working for us. So, it is our top priority that they are safe and well trained. We want them to feel that they are part of something worthwhile and important, and we are all on the same team regardless if we are managers or laborers. The low stress program helps to instill the pride and attention to detail that makes all of us feel worthwhile at the end of each day.”
Scott English, English Hay, Mesa Washington

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Western Extension Risk Management Education Center, 222 N. Havana St., Spokane Valley, WA, 99202 USA, Fax: 509-477-2197, 509-477-2168

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