Low-Stress Cattle Handling Clinic at NCTA
Dogs and beef cattle can work well together in pens or on open range, particularly when the handler emphasizes low-stress techniques in sorting or herding the cattle.
A workshop to educate cattle producers and stock dog owners about Low-Stress Cattle Handing will be Wednesday, March 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the indoor arena of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis.
Juan Reyes of Wheatland, Wyo., has been invited to demonstrate how to use livestock dogs in a low-stress manner, as part of the public offerings from two student organizations and a regional stock club.
The NCTA Collegiate Cattlemen, the Outback Stock Dog Association, and the NCTA Stock Dog Club are sponsoring the workshop with Reyes and Dr. Kip Lukasiewicz, a veterinarian of St. Paul, Neb., with Production Animal Consultants.
The NCTA Stock Dog Club officially formed last fall as part of the animal obedience and agility courses of the NCTA Veterinary Technology division’s student programs, said Judy Bowmaster-Cole, club advisor and NCTA vet tech assistant professor. The student group also works closely with the Outback Stock Dog Association of southwestern Nebraska.
NCTA and Outback host monthly stock dog clinics and trials including a clinic on Saturday, March 12 from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at NCTA. The clinic is open to the public.
Safe and low-stress handling of cattle in working corrals, sorting pens, alleyways and enclosed settings has received more attention in recent years. While some ranchers and cattle owners work cattle on horseback, or on foot, without using a dog, others find the stock dog a reliable assistant.
“Sometimes a well-trained stock dog can take the place of another person or two, and give a 1-person operation a great deal of help,” says Jo Bek, NCTA animal science professor, producer and certified vet technician. “Training and resources are important to animal and human safety.”
In addition to the training by Juan Reyes who works horseback with his dog, Dr. Lukasiewicz will demonstrate the use of a “Bud Box” and how to handle those same cattle as a stockman who is on foot in the pen with them. The handling box and method is named after cattle handling expert Bud Williams.
Reyes is recognized nationally for his work with working dogs and low-stress cattle handling. He has given demonstrations at San Antonio, Texas at the National Cattlemen Beef Association convention and to the NILE (Northern International Livestock Expo in Billings, Mont. He and his wife are involved in a family operation consisting of 23 center pivot systems, a 7,000-head feed yard, 1,100 head of cattle and a seed stock operation that sells 300 head of bulls each year.
Dr. Lukasiewicz is a practicing veterinarian at Production Animal Consultation (PAC), where he emphasizes feed yard consulting focused on production animal medicine and cattle facility design and animal welfare methods. PAC methods and business is known nationally and abroad for its work, Bek said.
“Our students are very enthused for this great opportunity to learn from some of the best in the cattle business,” Bek added. “A workshop like this is a strong collaboration for several academic areas and skill sets of our students.”
The March 30th workshop is free to the public with a freewill supper being offered at 6 p.m. at the Everett Stencel Livestock Teaching Center on campus. Proceeds will go to the sponsoring organizations. No RSVP is needed.