WICHITA, Kan. — When it comes to cattle ranching most of us don’t know much more than the way we order our steak. But a relatively newer style of handling the animals helps everyone from the rancher, to the cattle, to your plate.
The method is called “low-stress cattle handling” and it was the focus of a demonstration at the Great Bend Farm and Ranch Expo Thursday.
The low-stress technique is helping ranchers to make their livelihood more profitable and the meat you eat more tender.
“The goal with low-stress handling is to make sure that every time humans and animals are together, that it is a positive experience for both,” said Dr. Tom Noffsinger, a veterinarian.
That positive experience keeps cattle less stressed and able to gain weight quickly.
Dr. Noffsinger is able to move these cattle through the pen exactly where he wants them just by using body language.
“It’s really important that our caregivers reduce the stress that is associated with moving and new locations, removing stress allows those animals to reduce their stress intake, increase their feed intake and make a much better product,” said Noffsinger.
“Tender steaks obviously any time you can take better care of that animal, the end product is going to be better,” said John Jenkinson from McPherson, Kan.
With people being more conscious of where their meat comes from, this low-stress technique is good news.
“I think the theory is good. I think that people from an ethical standpoint are more willing to purchase meat from cattle that have been treated better and I used to be a vegetarian and that was one of the reasons,” said Julie Johnson, also from McPherson.
The bleachers were full for the low-stress cattle demonstration and farmers and ranchers will have more demonstrations tomorrow to make sure that they’re up-to-date on the best new ways to farm.