Stockmanship & Cattle Handling

curtpateposterThe Crazy Mountain Stockgrowers will host a cattle handling workshop featuring stockmanship expert Curt Pate this month. The workshop starts at 10 a.m., Friday, Jan. 27 at the Hooks Ranch west of Big Timber, Montana. Lunch will be provided.

The event is free and open to anyone who would like to attend.

According to Pate, stockmanship can be defined as the knowledgeable and skillful handling of livestock in a safe, efficient, effective, and low stress manner with the intent of enhancing ranch profitability and improving animal welfare.

Crazy Mountain Stockgrowers Association president Nathan Anderson said the local stockgrowers invited Pate to host a workshop as a service to members and benefit to any livestock handlers who are interested in increasing efficiencies on the ranch.

His interest in stockmanship was piqued with a few simple curiosities: how can we take better care of our animals, work smarter instead of harder on the ranch, and conserve our time and resources?

“I’ve always had a fascination with cows, why they do what they do, trying to handle them better, learning how to use pressure and releases,” Anderson said.

As they learn and implement more stockmanship techniques on their Billy Creek Ranch near Melville, Anderson said it’s gotten more efficient to work cattle with less people and positive results.

“You’re trying to avoid putting stress on the animals, so you’re keeping your situation calm. If you’re processing cattle, you want the animals to have a pleasant experience so that going through the alley way gets better and better and better every time,” he said.

It’s good for the wellbeing of the animals, and it pays off on the rancher’s bottom line, too.

“If you’re shipping, the benefits to the cattle are huge. If they’re not stressed and they’re happy going through there, they’re not shrinking; they’re not getting as nervous, and that is huge,” Anderson said. “When you go into the corral after you’ve shipped and it’s soaking wet; that’s your profit on the ground, and it’s thousands of dollars. So not only are the animals having a better experience because they’re not nervous, you’re making more money in turn.”

On Jan. 27, Pate will cover a variety of those types of situations with live animal demonstrations. Topics will cover many aspects of stockmanship, including gathering, grazing, sorting, processing, loading, treating and moving cattle in an effective manner, on foot or horseback. The event will be held in an indoor arena. All attendees will earn a Beef Quality Assurance certification.

Hooks Ranch is located at 16 DeHart Trail. To get there, take 1-90 exit 362 approximately five miles west of Big Timber. The indoor arena is located about a mile south of the interstate. Please RSVP by Jan. 24 by with a call or text to Kandi at: (406) 930-1782 or email crazymountainstockgrowers@gmail.com, for meal planning purposes.

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