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Low-Stress Cattle Handling For Injury Prevention

The Lundar Agricultural Society is hoping to make life a little more boring for Manitoba cattle producers.

The society is bringing in Dawn Hnatow, a livestock manager for Addison Ranch in Bowie, Texas who conducts workshops on low-stress cat-t le handling across North America.

There will be two days of workshops, on June 17 and 18, that will help people improve their animal-handling skills, reduce their risk of injury, and enjoy working with cattle again, said Debbie Wimmer, a local cattle producer and ag society member.

“There’s lots of people getting hurt,” said Wimmer. “The main thing is we just see people who are afraid of animals and there’s no need for that.”

Wimmer said she has met Hnatow, who studied under low-stress-handling guru Bud Williams, on other visits to Manitoba and was impressed with her approach. When she heard that Farm Credit Canada and the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association had established a new farm safety grant, she jumped at the chance to bring Hnatow to Lundar.

Wimmer said the workshops will attract a crowd and are open to anyone working with cattle, including youth and 4-H’ers. Both video and hands-on instruction will be part of the workshops.

Hnatow emphasizes keeping the pace slow when moving animals and has joked in past interviews with theCo-operator that a good day handling cattle should be more akin to watching paint dry than a thrilling spectator sport.

There is no reason for the rushes and flighty herds associated with traditional ranching activities, she said during a 2009 visit to Brandon. Most of the techniques are tied to understanding things that stress cattle, such as not being able to see their handler.

The Lundar Agr icul tural Society is one of nine organizations awarded a grant from FCC/CASA’s $100,000 fund, which was created in 2010 to help non-profit groups provide ag safety training.

The registration deadline is June 5. The fee is $125 per couple, $75 per person, or $20 for those age 17 and under, and includes the cost of supper and entertainment on June 17. Campsites and hotels are available locally. For more information please contact (204) 739- 5584 or to register contact the Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives office at (204) 762-5649.

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About the author


Lorraine Stevenson

Lorraine Stevenson is a reporter and photographer for the Manitoba Co-operator with 25 years experience writing news and features. She was previously a reporter with the Farmers Independent Weekly and has also written for community newspapers in Winnipeg and Manitoba's Interlake.



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