A Call to Action on Transportation
The Cattle Transportation Symposium, an effort led by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, with support from the beef checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program and Colorado State University, was held May 14 and 15 in Fort Collins, Colo. The event brought together all sectors of the beef industry to discuss and evaluate current transportation issues in the beef industry.
Speakers during the symposium presented on the challenges that each sector faces regarding cattle transport. All shared a commitment to continuously improve their practices to increase the well-being of cattle and the quality of the product for consumers. Dr. Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein, a world renowned beef cattle welfare research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and Dr. Clyde Lane, 2014 BQA Educator of the Year and Professor Emeritus at University of Tennessee, shared their perspectives on reducing cattle stress and the principles of proper stock trailer inspection and loading of cattle.
Kristen Parman, Vice President of Member Services for LMA, shared the current educational and training programs that are available for auction markets, and Larry Schnell, owner of Livestock Marketing Exchange in North Dakota, shared the expectations of a marketer with regards to the cattle that are shipped to market and moved on to buyers. Representatives from JBS Carriers and Out West Trucking provided insight into the logistics of cattle hauling in compromising situations.
Beef packers, JBS and Cargill, described the increasingly scrutinized environment that they work in around cattle transportation and provide a call to action for the industry to continue to offer training and develop a more robust certification system for livestock transporters.
A white paper is being developed from the presentations and perspectives shared at the symposium.