Farm Progress

Cattle producers invited to learn about stockmanship, and become BQA certified at upcoming workshops.

July 12, 2018

3 Min Read
LOW-STRESS: There are four principles of cattle behavior to keep in mind: cattle want to see you, go around you, be with other cattle, and can only process one thought at a time.

Three workshops titled “Stockmanship, Cattle Handling and Beef Quality Assurance” will be held in eastern Iowa on July 30-31.

Co-sponsors of the meetings are several county cattlemen groups in Iowa, the Iowa Beef Center, ISU Extension, and the Iowa Beef Industry Council. Anyone interested is invited to attend.

The stockmanship sessions feature Dr. Tom Noffsinger, a veterinarian from Nebraska.

“These sessions teach cattle handling methods that improve animal movement and cattle performance by reducing the stress on livestock,” says Denise Schwab, ISU Extension beef specialist. Noffsinger bases his presentation on four simple principles of cattle behavior: cattle want to see you, go around you, be with other cattle, and can only process one thought at a time.

Reasons to get BQA certified
Noffsinger will demonstrate low-stress cattle handling methods that can be used whether gathering the cattle from the pasture or processing through corrals.

In addition to animal handling, Schwab and colleague Russ Euken will also be certifying participants in the Beef Quality Assurance program. BQA is the foundation for the Tyson FarmCheck program, which will be required for all farmers who sell cattle to Tyson in 2019.

The first workshop will be July 30 at the Fayette County Fairgrounds in West Union starting at 9:30 a.m., and the second workshop will be at the Wyoming Fairgrounds in Wyoming starting at 6 p.m. The West Union session is open to any beef producers in the area, but the Wyoming session is only open to members of the Jones County Cattlemen Association. The third session will be July 31, starting at 9:30 a.m. at Summit Farms cow-calf facility at 22213 230th Ave., near Hubbard.

All sessions are free, but advance registration is requested to ensure adequate resource materials. There will be a meal provided, so you are asked to register in advance by calling Benton County Extension Office at 319-472-4739 for the July 30 sessions or Hardin County Extension office at 641-648-4850 for the July 31 session.

Low-stress cattle handling pays off
Noffsinger grew up on a diversified ranch with beef cows, swine, crops and a small dairy. After receiving his doctorate of veterinary medicine from Colorado State University in 1973, he joined the Twin Forks Vet Clinic at Benkelman, Neb. His professional life took an interesting turn when he learned about Bud Williams, and then convinced the expert in stockmanship and low-stress cattle handling to live and teach in Benkelman for several years.

“Wherever we encourage cattle to move to, they should perceive they belong there,” Noffsinger says. “When we focus on the voluntary movement of animals, and people who volunteer to learn low-stress handling, well, that changes the world. We understand and use the animal’s visual abilities, posture angle, language, speed and attitude — all cues to help us work with rather than against their nature.”

After 32 years in beef cattle practice at the Twin Forks Clinic, Noffsinger became an independent feedlot consultant specializing in facility design, stockmanship and low-stress livestock handling.

For more information on these workshops, contact ISU’s Schwab at [email protected] or 319-721-9624, or Euken at [email protected] or 641-923-2856.

Source: Iowa State University


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