Friday, April 8, 2011

Why did you let that calf get by you?

How many of you women beef cattle producers have been scolded by your husbands when asked to help herd cattle to be worked?  You know what I mean:  "Why are you standing just let that calf get by you?  I thought you knew how to move cattle!"   Sound all too familiar? 

After a few of those hair-raising experiences, I just had to seek out a new way.  If anything just for my own sanity!  Fortunately, relief came along.  

On Wedneday, April 6, I attended a Leadership and Cattle Handling Skills for Women Producers workshop at the North Carolina State University Beef Unit in Raleigh.  What a great workshop!  Female experts in the areas of pasture management, cattle health (vaccinations/deworming), and reproduction did a fantastic job of providing tips to help over 20 female producers on their beef farms.

(Photo by Boyd Kidwell.)
Additionally, Dr. Mark Alley (shown left) with the NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine provided a super demonstration on low- stress cattle handling using a bud box.  And, the executive director the NC Cattlemen's Association spoke about the importance of a being a leader in agriculture and how we can tell beef's story the right way.

I came away from the workshop with renewed hope that the next time I help work cattle, it should be a much more pleasant experience -- less stress for the cattle and me!  I still need to master the low stress cattle handling techniques to get away from all of those old habits we've all been taught, but now I have the tools to do it right.   

I believe most of the ladies that left the session at the end of the day were quite pleased with what they learned and accomplished.  My cowgirl hat goes off to those who coordinated the program.  You saved my marriage!


  1. I love this! Dr. Alley is wonderful! He came in and spoke with my Beef Management Class...this must have been a great opportunity for you!

  2. It was an awesome workshop! Several participants have been emailing back and forth, and we all agree that they need to do this event again...and soon! The women who had never vaccinated before; it was so good for them to get that hands-on experience from patient people. They felt so confident once they did it! Sometimes our significant others aren't so patient, you know? lol!

  3. Neil once yelled at me to "Close the gate" in a not so very nice tone of voice. I fussed at him and he replied that somehow "Honey, would you please close the gate" just didn't have the same effect. LOL. They say that the family that farms together stays together. I say that family has never worked cattle together.

  4. Good one! Agreed! After seeing the low stress cattle handling demo, I quickly came to the realization that I shouldn't even be needed in some instances for the herding process. In fact, I think my husband is using TOO MANY people AND should be able to get them in the pen himself! lol!