August 29, 2016

(Dr. Dan Thomson) Hey folks welcome to DocTalk! Today we’re in Kearny, Nebraska at the Buffalo County Pavilion and Arena and we’re going to be looking at beef cattle stewardship. We have Curt Pate, Juan Reyes, Tom Noffsinger and Ted Howard and much more. It’s going to be a great show thanks for tuning in.

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(Dr. Dan) Hey, folks, welcome to DocTalk. We are in Kearney, Nebraska and here with me is Dr. Tom Noffsinger. He’s a friend and colleague and Dr. Tom, we’re here at the PAC Summit, here in Kearney, Nebraska. Tell me a little bit about what we’re doing today. (Dr. Tom Noffsinger) Dr. Dan, what we’re doing today is we’ve taken today to get together with our people to share and learn together about stewardship and stockmanship and most importantly how we get along with each other. How do you form a team? How do you get people inspired to have curiosity about each other, have curiosity about our team members, have a real sincere interest in moving forward as a group of people taking care of the animals that we’ve all been granted dominion over. (Dr. Dan) You bet. And when we think about PAC, Production Animal Consultation, and the clients and non-clients, we have people from Alberta, Canada here; Honda, Texas and then a lot of people here in this Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado mix it is pretty overwhelming. (Dr. Tom) PAC is a group of veterinarians, a group of IT folks: we have veterinarians, we have IT people, data and analysis people, but our responsibility is to take care of a large portion of the beef production units in America. Our veterinarians started out mostly in mixed practice and we’ve specialized in the feedlot and stocker operations, ranch operations and we have this intense need and will to take better care of all the animals under our supervision. (Dr. Dan) And you all do these summits once or twice a year and you’ll have another one coming up in July. But really it’s a focus to bring everybody together to get the fellowship and kind of get them out of the environment where we can clear our mind and learn. (Dr. Tom) Absolutely. How do we expect people to do their job to the best of their ability unless we keep sharing things we’ve learned? For instance today, we’ve got genius people, gifted people that know so, so much about interacting with horses, cattle, and each other that we think it’s really necessary to expose all of our pen riders, all of our hospital crews, our processing crews, our supervisors; give them the chance to meet some of these magic people that have come along and shared ideas with us. We want to just give them an opportunity to meet really, really special people. (Dr. Dan) And I know that you do a lot of work with caregivers out there and you spend a lot of time on the human-animal interaction. If you had to summarize it, a 10 second, 20 second deal on what it means to you. (Dr. Tom) I think, Dan, our responsibility and our exciting opportunity is just to know that, every time we interact with an animal, we have a choice to make that a very, very positive interaction for both the animal and ourselves. It just changes the way you look at things. When you have people with that attitude, things go forward pretty quickly. (Dr. Dan) Well thanks for being here. Thanks for sharing this with DocTalk. Folks, Dr. Tom Noffsinger, more of these messages.

(Dr. Dan) Folks, welcome back to DocTalk. Dr. Dan Thomson here in Kearney, Nebraska. Have Juan Reyes here with me from Wheatland, Wyoming? (Juan Reyes) That’s correct. (Dr. Dan) And Juan, today in your segment, you’re going to handle cattle with dogs and you use the dogs on a routine basis in your operation and to help people gather cattle. What are some of the more important things that take home messages of working cattle with dogs that you would want to get across? (Juan) Well first of all, we work dogs in all aspects of cattle handling. Now cow/calf, yearlings, inside confined facilities and in the country, I guess what I would like to show is how easy these dogs can make our job. It’s awful hard for us to get help and these dogs are willing and wanting to work with us. (Dr. Dan) When you go in, do you start dogs from pups and bring them all the way along? (Juan) Yes, I have. To tell you the truth, I like a dog that I can go to work with. I like that. I like to send the puppy stuff to somebody else. I do it to the special ones. The ones I really like, I keep them at home starting from scratch. But I like a year old dog that I can just go do a job with. (Dr. Dan) Tell me some of the pitfalls that people maybe, let’s say someone hasn’t been around dogs and they go out and they buy a dog and now they think they’re just going to fix everything, what are some of the pitfalls that happen with working dogs? (Juan) The way we’ve been taught to handle stock, we’ve been taught to push and these dogs, the Border Collie breed, they’re gathering dogs, so if you start pushing with them, they lose that instinct of gathering and that’s something we like to perfect actually, work on and make them better at gathering. (Dr. Dan) Maybe sometimes we as humans should watch the way the dogs’ instinct is to bring them to teach us. (Juan) They’re a lot closer to those cattle than we are as far as how they think, so those cattle know where that bubble, we all talk about the bubble, they know a lot better than we do, where to position themselves and once we give them the opportunity to show us that, then it’s a game that is very easily handled, but you do have to change mentally from what we’ve been taught from the beginning. I’m blessed I was not born into the cattle business in the US; I came here from a foreign country so I have an advantage over most people that I started afresh. I didn’t have to do it like granddad did or my dad did, so we talked about change today and I’m one of those guys who just, I love change and I welcome change and that’s what made it good for me. I started out with nothing and we’ve done quite well, production agriculture’s been good to me. (Dr. Dan) Well, we appreciate you being here; we look forward to watching your dogs work today and thanks a million for being on the show. (Juan) Thank you for having me. (Dr. Dan) Take care. Folks, more after these messages.

(Dr. Dan) Folks, welcome back to DocTalk, Dr. Dan Thomson here and I got a friend and colleague Curt Pate and Curt is one of those people that works with so many people across this country on stewardship, it’s always a pleasure for me to get to watch one of your sessions and learn from you and see what you’re doing to improve stockmanship and horsemanship globally and thanks for taking a few minutes here to spend with me. When you’re doing these sessions, give me your philosophy of what you’re wanting to teach or what you’re wanting to convey to people, your core message. (Curt Pate) So a big term is low stress cattle handling, which is a wonderful term, but I’ve rethought that and so I call it effective stockmanship, because stockmanship has to be effective for the job you are doing and for what we’re trying to accomplish, so just low stress doesn’t always get it, so I try to be effective with what I’m doing and I think in some situations that’s real hard to convey these principles and thoughts when you’re doing a job. If you’re loading 15 trucks, you can’t think about doing everything right, you got to get the job done, so that’s where I think a demonstration like so many of our stockmanship and stewardship programs do, a demonstration where people come in and sit down, away from their job and are totally focused on what we’re talking about, with horse, cattle or whatever, I think that’s a real positive way to change your mind and learn so you can go back to those loading situations or those feedlot situations or on the ranch and get these principles put in mind, in practice, after getting them in your mind, sitting in the seat, so to say. (Dr. Dan) Yes, it’s a testament what you guys have done with you and Juan and Tom and Ted, you pack people in here to these type of sessions and I can’t say enough that if you want to learn more about your cattle and how you can improve things, come in here and learn about stockmanship, learn about this so that you can take it home, because you’re right, if you’re in your mindset every day, you don’t take the time to think about always, “How can I make this better?” (Curt) Yes, I came from the horse world, I’m a cattleman, but I’m a horseback cattleman and I spent a lot of time in the horse world and I learned and saw so many things with horsemanship starting a cult or whatever, from the Ray Hunt’s and Buck Brannaman’s of the world and now I’ve watched how effective that can be and now I’ve turned that around to fit to the cattle world and so I come out a little bit of a different approach than some folks do, which I think it’s nice, we all should do a different approach, so I come at it like a horse training method for cattle and so it’s a little different way of putting things but it’s the same results that we’re trying to get. (Dr. Dan) What are some of the bigger issues you see as far as people that, when you clue them in and you’re working with a new group, what are some of the misconceptions or things that you see as a common issue? (Curt) Well, there’s a great saying in the horse world, ‘feel, timing and balance.’ That’s what I think people are missing. They miss the feel, and then their timing is off, and then they do too much or too little, so that throws the balance off. That’s a great term to remember, ‘feel, timing, and balance’; cattle, horses, dogs, kids, wives, I don’t know. [Laughs] (Dr. Dan) Yes, probably all three. (Curt) Probably all, whatever. (Dr. Dan) Well, I appreciate all that you do, thanks for being on the show today, thanks for being here and in Kearney, Nebraska at the PAC Summit. We’re going to see more of Curt Pate here this afternoon, and through the different sessions. Go to NCBA, go to his stewardship clinics, have him come to your place. Thanks for all you do. (Curt) My pleasure. (Dr. Dan) Folks, more after these messages.

(Dr. Dan) Hey folks, welcome back to DocTalk. We’re here in Kearney, Nebraska, at the PAC Summit where I’m here with Ted Howard; he’s with PAC and Ted, this afternoon we’ve been going over animal stewardship, and I know you do a lot of work out there in the field with a lot of different caregivers, and really you stress a lot to do with not only how you handle the cattle, but how you handle your horse, correct? (Ted) Yes. I try to help a lot of our young people, as well as our older, to teach them how to make their horse work easier, softer; makes our job easier, or cattle accept us a lot better, of course, everything is low stress. We spent a lot of time doing horsemanship, which leads into being a better stockman. (Dr. Dan) When you think about it, we talked to Juan about his dogs, and the dogs being closer to the mindset of the cattle than humans. Can that be the same for the horses? (Ted) Yes, our horses that do this every day, and are given a chance to do their work on their own, these horses literally will slow down, and their feet hardly move any faster than cattle to keep them under control. The horses that don’t get that opportunity get too much on the muscle, and it affects our cattle. But our horses do understand they’re just like a dog; when a dog comes into cattle, he knows exactly how much pressure to create. A horse will get to do the same thing if we give him a chance. (Dr. Dan) Then he’ll start to read the cattle, and take the cues from the cattle and help you with your jobs. (Ted) Yes. (Dr. Dan) What are some of the things that you see that you have to work with the most, as far as when you go out to feedyards, or you go to ranches, and you’re going to work with someone that’s going to get horseback and work cattle? (Ted) Number one, I look at their horse situation to see if their horses are capable of doing what we’re going to ask them, and then I go to trying to help people understand how to read cattle. A lot of people due to the everyday riding, they just- they never slow down enough due to a lot of people have so much doing in yards. They never slow down and try to study the cow and let the cattle tell them what they’re thinking. (Dr. Dan) When you go in then, you’re going to work with them with the horse first, and then the cattle second. (Ted) Yes. (Dr. Dan) And then once they have the horsemanship, then how we’re going to move those cattle, and then you start to apply more of the stockmanship principles. (Ted) Yes. No matter how much we can teach them about cattle, when we get on a horse, then we got another obstacle in the way. If we can’t move our horses’ feet correctly to match our cattle, it don’t work very good. (Dr. Dan) Thanks for being on the show today, thanks for all that you do for our industry; really appreciate it. Folks, this is Ted Howard, thanks for watching Doc Talk today. Remember, always work with your local veterinarian. If you want to know more about what we do, you can find us on the web at Thanks for watching the show, I’m Dr. Dan Thomson, and I’ll see you down the road.

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