On Sept. 13th, 2010 eight handling teams from feedlots in southern Alberta assembled at Easterday Farms in Lethbridge to show off their skills in a first of its kind event, the Pfizer Feedlot Challenge. Teams competed in a series of challenges to test their animal handling skills and knowledge of feedlot animal health protocols. Recognizing that these teams play a very important role in the health of the animals at the feedlot, the event was designed to be both a competition and a learning opportunity for participants.
The challenge involved the following activities:
• A multiple choice technical quiz to assess their knowledge of animal health products, protocols and quality assurance
• Chute processing fall placed calves to assess handling protocols, preparation and administration of animal health products
• Ability to locate and remove cattle from a pen as quickly and quietly as possible in an effort to simulate the identification and removal of sick animals from a herd
The teams competed under the watchful eyes of leading animal health professionals, including cattle handling expert, Dr. Tom Noffsinger, and Pfizer cattle veterinarians, Dr. Les Byers and Dr. Larry Frischke.
In the end, team members – Glen Stronks, Travis Kellet, Betty Jean Wilson, & Kristy Heapy – from Kolk Farms prevailed as the winning team.
Following the competition, Dr. Noffsinger led the participants through an interactive discussion, outlining techniques for better cattle handling.
Given the extremely positive feedback received from participants, Pfizer plans to make this an annual event, continuing the company’s overall commitment to partnering with the cattle industry and providing educational opportunities.