A national online training program for beef and dairy production – www.animalcaretraining.org – is aimed at educating livestock producers and handlers on the best livestock-management practices. The bilingual program (English and Spanish) consists of Web-based audiovisual training modules on animal husbandry, animal welfare, environmental stewardship and food-safety practices for the beef and dairy industries.
The program is designed to benefit cattle producers, animal transporters, livestock auction market employees and bovine veterinarians. It’s the result of collaborations between the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP), and the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), and is managed by the Beef Cattle Institute (BCI) at Kansas State University (KSU).
“The goal of the program is to utilize modern technology to reach out to rural areas and provide up-to-date continuing education for all people involved with raising beef and dairy cattle to improve animal welfare, food safety and environmental stewardship,” says Dan Thomson, BCI director.
Employees can work through the training at any time. When a training package is complete, a certificate of completion is available for printing.
“By registering employees, a manager can track progress as employees work through the training program; those who complete training are recorded in a national database of certified producers,” says Clayton Huseman, Kansas Livestock Association executive director, feedlot division.
To date, the Animal Care Training program has trained 7,000 beef and dairy producers on Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) and Dairy Animal Care and Quality Assurance (DACQA) principles.
“Beef Quality Assurance is focused on the needs of all farmers, ranchers and cattle veterinarians to produce the safest and most wholesome beef in the world,” says Ryan Ruppert, BQA senior director for NCBA. “As we move into the 21st century to reach new producers across the country, we are working with the Animal Care Training program to provide those producers with online certification options to better fit their lifestyle and educational preferences.”
In addition, BCI has teamed up with AABP and LMA. The AABP modules provide online continuing education (CE) training for AABP members, while the LMA modules include the organization’s “Guide to Animal Handling and Employee Training for Livestock Marketing Businesses.”
To learn more, go to www.animalcaretraining.org or www.beefcattleinstitute.org.