Staring down an ornery, 2,000-pound steer can make even the most seasoned cowhand a little rattled, but proper technique can go a long way to making herd handling safer for the cowboy or cowgirl and the herd.
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension’s Beef Team and the staff of the the J. Phil Campbell Sr. Research and Education Center will host their Proper Stockmanship School from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10, at the UGA Livestock Arena in Athens, Georgia.
This daylong course will focus on low-stress animal handling methods that leverage the prey-predator relationship and the psychology of the herd. Cattle experts from Hand ‘n Hand Livestock Solutions, founded by gentle herd-handling expert and Bud Box inventor Bud Williams, will present the class.
“In the beef cattle industry, proper handling is essential to ensure the safety and well-being of both the animal and the handler,” said Lawton Stewart, UGA Extension beef specialist. “Additionally, utilizing good stockmanship (practices) improves the temperament, decreases the stress and ultimately improves the performance of cattle, leading to increased profitability.”
Williams’ techniques involve moving cattle without touching them by invading their personal space and then backing away to allow them to “escape.”
This year’s stockmanship school will be held in the classroom at the UGA Livestock Arena and will involve lectures, discussions and videos.
The school is appropriate for those with no cattle-handling experience as well as seasoned professionals. Everyone will learn something, and students are also welcome, Stewart said.
The cost of the workshop is $25 for the general public and $10 for students. For more information about the program visit blog.extension.uga.edu/beef/2015/11/stockmanship/.
To register, email Stewart, at email@example.com, or Eric Elsner, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact your local UGA Extension office by calling 1-800-ASK-UGA1.
(Merritt Melancon is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
A herd of cattle graze in a research field on the University of Georgia campus in Athens.Download Image