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Feedyard employees set to show off their skills

Published 5/31/2011 in Beef Empire Days

By RACHAEL GRAY

rgray@gctelegram.com

Marvin Hammond says he's passionate about the technique of cattle handling in the beef belt.

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Brad Nading/Telegram
Dustin Glaze, right, and Rick Hibler move cattle from the pens to the shoot for weighing during the Beef Empire Days intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health Live Show at the Finney County Fairgrounds. Glaze is with Brookover Feed Yard and Hilber is with Beefland.

Brad Nading/Telegram Dustin Glaze, right, and Rick Hibler move cattle from the pens to the shoot for weighing during the Beef Empire Days intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health Live Show at the Finney County Fairgrounds. Glaze is with Brookover Feed Yard and Hilber is with Beefland.

Hammond referred to Garden City as one of the staples of the beef belt, where feedyards dot the landscape and packing plants are some of the area's largest employers.

Hammond, who works for Elanco Animal Health, will volunteer to judge the Cattle Working contest at Beef Empire Days.

The contest previously has been held in the Grandstand Arena at the Finney County Fairgrounds, but Lucas Regula, event chairperson, said they decided to move it out to a real feedyard to make the event more authentic.

Regula said the contest demonstrates different skills used by those who work in feedyards.

"It demonstrates the skills of these feedyard employees in animal handling. (The animals') welfare is held to the highest degree and standard. From an animal health perspective, the participants are judged on using the proper animals products and used in a way suggested by the manufacturer," Regula said.

Participants will administer shots, ear tags and implants, he said.

At the contest, Hammond will be judging the implants.

"I'll be judging on placement, sanitation and technique," he said.

Hammond said he's looking forward to his first time judging, and that he's been heavily involved in the industry and cattle handling through his job.

"I work one-on-one with about 80 percent of the people that process and handle cattle in the United States," he said.

Dr. Todd Stone, a veterinarian, who has served on the Beef Empire Days board for two years and who has been volunteering for five or six years, also will judge the cattle working contest.

"We'll be judging these processes on different procedures used every day such as de-worming, vaccination, implants, animal handling and welfare," he said.

He'll be watching to see that proper medications are used, and used in a way suggested by the manufacturer.

Stone said by judging the contest and being involved in Beef Empire Days, he hopes to educate those involved in the industry on how to properly handle the animals and care for the product.

"It gives me the opportunity to hopefully educate some processing crews on some little things — that may not be the way that they've been doing it," he said.

Stone hopes the area is progressive in meat handling.

"Hopefully we're on the leading edge of animal welfare. This is a job to help those that handle the animals to help them to do their job better," he said.

Stone said beef is what drives southwest Kansas. He said that's the reason he stays involved.

"It's a part of the beef industry, and that's a huge part of the southwest, and what makes our economy go," he said.

The contest is open to all area processing crews and provides an excellent opportunity to learn the newest trends and test the latest equipment. All participants will receive lunch, and there will be a short educational program before the contest. The cattle working contest is coordinated and made possible by Elanco, Gold Standard Labs and Temple Tag, Ltd.

Entry forms are available through the Beef Empire Days office, 275-6807.

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