It's interesting how we sometimes use too much pressure when handling cattle to get the job done as quick as possible, but accept the default cost of taking an extra couple hours to go fix broken fences when things got a little too rushed.

Dylan Biggs, a cattle handling expert, taught a Stockmanship Workshop on Wednesday, August 9, in Champion, which was put on by the Foothills Forage and Grazing Association. There was a two hour classroom session at the Community Hall, and the rest of the day took place at Snake Valley Farms, just East of Champion.

The day was a hands-on clinic, where participants were given a chance to actually work the cattle using new techniques.

Biggs says, if producers could take just one thing from the day, it would if the cattle you're working get bothered and decide to run off, the worst thing you can do is chase after them.

"Once these cattle are bothered, the worst thing you can do is use more speed to try and control that movement. The fact of the matter is, these cattle are agitated and anxious, and going after them with speed is just going to make things worse."

dylan biggs2 champion aug 2017Dylan Biggs takes classroom learning outside at Snake Valley Farms East of Champion, AB.

Producers need to get the right kind of movement when working their cattle, which is the cattle walking with their heads level to their shoulder blades. One of the tips he offered, was to move against the flow of cattle along the side, instead of pushing directly from the back.

To encourage the next generation on the family farm to get involved in the beef industry, Biggs says we need to make working cattle a more enjoyable experience for everyone in the family.

"Regardless of the best intentions, because of human impulse, and because of the things we just instinctively do around cattle, we end up making a lot of jobs harder than they need to be. As a result of that, it ends up being a frustrating situation. As a young lad, if I wanted to hear my dad swear, the best place to do that was in the corral. If we can approach it so we can make the cattle more calm, more quite, then our kids won't be so reluctant, and won't have so many anxious experiences working stock."

The next step will be putting all this new knowledge to work in the pasture.

dylan biggs3 champion aug 2017Ranchers gather around Dylan Biggs as he explained the handling principles he demonstrated on the herd.


Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]

More Ag News

Pulse Canada CEO Visits India

Pulse Canada CEO Gordon Bacon says that wrong signals from pulse superpowers like India, could lead to Canadian farmers sharply reducing pulse plantings. This could set "the stage for a potential…

New Crop Missions Underway

The Canadian new crop missions are underway. One of the teams is currently promoting this year's crop in Latin America. Among those along on the trip is Alberta farmer Kevin Auch, who also chairs the…

A Group of Local Farmers Pitch in to Help with Wildfire Relief

Local farmers worked together to supply oat straw for a ranch devastated by the wildfires this summer. Stan and Heidi Siewert of Prairie Rock Farms donated about 150 large square bales of oat straw…

A Look at the 2017 and 2018 Cattle Markets

Yesterday was Cow-Calfenomics in Olds, AB, where producers learned about the use of price risk management tools, agricultural credit, and the value of a mentor in the beef industry. Ann Wasko, Market…

November Bovine Tuberculosis Update

The beef industry is still working on investigations started by an Alberta cow in September 2016. As of November 3, the number of positive Bovine Tuberculosis cases remains at six, and all six cases…

MacAulay Leading Trade Mission To China

Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay will lead a trade mission to China. The minister's first stop, Shanghai, will include several promotional activities and a visit to Food and Hospitality…

Canada’s Ag Sector Continues To Experience Economic Growth

The country's Fall Economic Statement 2017 shows that Canada's agriculture sector continues to show economic growth. On Friday, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada released an overview of the Canadian…

Alberta Cattle Genetics Showcased in Edmonton

The 44rd Farm Fair International wrapped up in Edmonton on Sunday with a record breaking crowd this year. There were 101,129 guests at the Edmonton EXPO Centre taking in cattle sales and shows, the…

India's Import Tariff On Peas Confuses Canadian Officials

Officials in Canada are scratching their heads as to why India decided to implement a 50 per cent import duty on peas, which is the maximum allowed under World Trade Organization rules. Gordon Bacon…

4-H Connecting Urban and Rural Communities

4-H leadership in Canada say, they've seen an increase in the number of youth involved in the 4-H program. Foothills MP, and Shadow Minister for Agriculture, John Barlow, says this is because they've…

Cattle Markets Trending Higher

The cattle markets have been trending upwards, with prices much higher than they were a year ago. That according to Brian Perillat, Manager and Senior Analyst with Canfax. He says they're seeing big…

Canadian Agriculture Ranked Fifth in FCC Trade Report

On Tuesday, Farm Credit Canada (FCC) released two Trade Ranking Reports; one about agriculture, and the other about manufactured food. The reports show in 2016, Canada was the world's 5th largest…

Government Provides Tax Support for Ranchers

Federal Agriculture Minister, Lawrence MacAulay, has announced livestock tax relief for producers, including those impacted by the recent TB outbreak in 2016 and 2017. Producers in Saskatchewan, and…

Glyphosate - A Product The Internet "Likes To Hate"

Cereals Canada President Cam Dahl says glyphosate is one of the products that the Internet likes to hate. He notes glyphosate is registered for use in more than 160 countries and there is no major…

CFIA Looking at New Traceability Regulations on Cattle Movement

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is looking at introducing new traceability regulations on the movement of cattle. Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) representatives are hoping the CFIA…

No Tax Changes For Deferred Cash Purchase Tickets For Grain Deliveries

The federal government has announced that it will not change the current tax treatment of deferred cash purchase tickets for listed grain deliveries. With Budget 2017, the Liberals launched a public…

Provincial Ag Plastic Recycling Program is in Beginning Stages

In Alberta, there is no agricultural plastic recycling program. There are two types of ag plastics which can be recycled; twine and film plastic. Film plastic includes products like silage bags, bale…

Federal Government Invests in Canadian Livestock Genetics

More livestock are going to be raised outside of Canada using Canadian genetics. On Friday at the 95th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, Federal Ag Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced a $3…

Auction Market Shows No Sign of a Feed Shortage

Although there's a bit of talk about a feed shortage in Southern Alberta, the auction market doesn't seem to show it. If producers are short on feed, sometimes you will see an increase in cow-calf…

Farm Groups Want Canada to Assume Key Role in TPP Negotiations

A number of Canadian farm groups are urging the federal government to advance the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) next week during meetings to be held in Vietnam. The 11 country members are meeting…

DiscoverWestman.com is Westman's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Alberta and the Great War

07 November 2017 9:00 am - 26 November 2017 4:00 pm

Museum of the Highwood





High River Toastmaster Open House

20 November 2017 6:30 am - 8:00 pm

Literacy For Life Foundation, High River





High River Toastmaster Open House

20 November 2017 6:30 am - 8:00 pm

Literacy For Life Foundation, High River





Chris Koch - If I Can, Nanton Chamber of Commerce

20 November 2017 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Bomber Command Museum of Canada, Nanton





Career Planning Online - "Kick Start Your Career Path!"

22 November 2017 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Claresholm Alberta Works Office, Claresholm





Holiday Craft and Bake Sale

23 November 2017 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

High River Hospital, lobby outside the lab, High River





Windmill Theatre Players Presents "Anne of Green Gables the Musical"

23 November 2017 7:30 pm

Highwood Memorial Centre





Login