Jennifer Ligon
Agriculture and Natural Resource Extension Agent
VA Cooperative Extension

Ligon, J.*1, , Benner, J.2, , Henley, R.I.G.3, , Seigle, L4,
1 Agriculture and Natural Resource Extension Agent, VA Cooperative Extension, Buckingham, VA, 23921
2 Augusta County Extension Agent, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Verona, VA, 24482
3 Powhatan County Extension, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Powhatan, VA, 23139
4 Amelia County Extension Agent, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Amelia Courthouse, VA, 23002

Consumers are concerned that the food they eat is safe, wholesome, and humanely handled. Consumers are also concerned about the way beef animals are managed on the farm. Beef producers strive to improve the health, marketability and profitability of feeder calves. Low stress cattle handling improves safety for the handler as well as the cattle, health, reproduction, performance, and carcass quality of the animal.  In addition, marketability of the end product is increased with little to no additional input cost(s). Proper cattle handling is essential to the effectiveness of the vaccine and immune response. Humane handling of cattle has received increasing attention in the agriculture industry. In response, the agent, conducted research and produced a corresponding publication on low stress cattle handling.  This publication discussed how to use cattle behavior to calmly and effectively work cattle in a manner that minimizes stress and its physical and mental effects on handlers and cattle.  The agent included many visual diagrams to compliment the descriptions of cattle behavior and methods, and collaborated with other agents and industry specialists to provide the most complete and correct information.  The agent then used Microsoft Word 2019 to follow the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) guidelines for non-peer reviewed publications and submitted the document for inclusion as a resource on the VCE website.  Focusing on BQA’s low stress handling campaign has benefited cattle, handlers, and improved public perception of the industry.