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Itís half a ton, itís on the loose and it wants to run. Stay calm?
by Seth Teter
When Iím assigned to visit a farm and capture a story about Ohio agriculture, I find things work best when I generally stay out of the way. Thatís especially true when the story is about rounding up a few thousand-pound animals that were intentionally set loose.
That was the situation earlier this week during a training session for humane agents and other first responders supported by Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio State University Extension and the Animals for Life Foundation.
The simulation provided participants with hands-on experience that will guide them if they find themselves dealing with livestock in an emergency situation. Thatís important, because, while most of us are comfortable handling a dog or cat, coaching a group of nervous cattle off of a highway requires a special understanding of their behavior.
(You might remember the situation below that played out when two steers got loose on the OSU campus.)
Many participants had limited experience with livestock, but clearly had a connection to animals and quickly learned to handle them effectively and safely. In no time, they were calmly moving skittish cows through pastures and loading escaped animals onto a trailer.
And for me, seeing a group come together to better protect people, animals and property, is a great story to tell.
Check out the video below to see what the first responders experienced and hear from those who helped make this event possible.
What is the best advice you would give somebody who is working with livestock for the first time? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Seth Teter is Buckeye Farm News assistant editor.