Dis­as­ter train­ing for large an­i­mal res­cue hosted in Ben­ton County

The Weekly Vista - - Community - Staff Re­port

BEN­TONVILLE — Pu­rina An­i­mal Nu­tri­tion, Farmer’s Co­op­er­a­tive and the Univer­sity of Arkansas Ex­ten­sion hosted a two-day train­ing course in late Au­gust at the Ben­ton County Fair­grounds in Ben­tonville to raise aware­ness and pro­vide op­er­a­tional level in­struc­tion for dis­as­ter emer­gency re­sponse specif­i­cally for large an­i­mals.

Par­tic­i­pants in­cluded fire­fight­ers, law en­force­ment of­fi­cers, an­i­mal con­trol of­fi­cers and cat­tle pro­duc­ers. The par­tic­i­pants worked with both live an­i­mals, in­clud­ing sheep, cat­tle and horses, as well as a 750-pound equine man­nequin. They were taught how to re­spond to trailer ac­ci­dents, horses stuck in ponds or ravines, flood­ing and more. Skills learned in­cluded large an­i­mal re­straint and han­dling and on-site large an­i­mal care and emer­gency res­cue.

“Dis­as­ter train­ing for large an­i­mal res­cue is a unique class that re­quires a cer­tain level of ex­per­tise and train­ing re­sources,” said Jay Carter, CEO Farmer’s Co­op­er­a­tive. “We were hon­ored to work with our fel­low part­ners, Pu­rina An­i­mal Nu­tri­tion and the Univer­sity of Arkansas Ex­ten­sion, to bring this vi­tal train­ing to our North­west Arkansas com­mu­nity.”

The course pro­vided con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion hours for at­ten­dees. Lead in­struc­tors were from the Lou­i­si­ana Tech Univer­sity’s School of Agri­cul­tural Sciences and Forestry’s Dis­as­ter Train­ing Pro­gram in Rus­ton, La. The Lou­i­si­ana Tech pro­gram has been greatly as­sisted by the Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion of Equine Prac­ti­tion­ers Foun­da­tion, which re­cently pro­vided a grant for the pur­chase of the equine res­cue man­nequin and large an­i­mal glide, both crit­i­cal for teach­ing hands-on res­cue tech­niques. The AAEPF con­tin­ues to sup­port pro­grams with a track record of build­ing com­mu­nity re­silience in dis­as­ter plan­ning and mit­i­ga­tion.

Also par­tic­i­pat­ing were in­struc­tors from Amer­i­can Hu­mane As­so­ci­a­tion, Ok­la­homa State Univer­sity, the Univer­sity of Arkansas Ex­ten­sion Ser­vices, and Farmer’s Co­op­er­a­tive. A pub­lic town hall meet­ing fol­lowed the last night of train­ing to dis­cuss com­mu­nity in­volve­ment, re­spon­si­bil­ity and ex­pec­ta­tions of par­ties in dis­as­ter sit­u­a­tions.

Fu­ture cour­ses are in de­vel­op­ment to pro­vide fur­ther train­ing, iden­tify com­mu­nity play­ers and their in­volve­ment in large an­i­mal res­cue op­er­a­tions, and to de­fine the vet­eri­nar­ian’s role, be­cause “sav­ing an­i­mal’s lives saves peo­ple’s lives.”

Con­tact Farmer’s Co­op­er­a­tive through the Con­tact Us but­ton on its web­site at www.farmer­coop.com, and en­ter Large An­i­mal Course In­ter­est in the mes­sage box if you’d like to be in­formed when new cour­ses are sched­uled.

Pu­rina An­i­mal Nu­tri­tion LLC (www.puri­namills. com) is a na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion serv­ing pro­duc­ers, an­i­mal own­ers and their fam­i­lies through more than 4,700 lo­cal co­op­er­a­tives, in­de­pen­dent deal­ers and other large re­tail­ers through­out the United States. Driven to un­lock the great­est po­ten­tial in ev­ery an­i­mal, the com­pany is an in­dus­try-lead­ing in­no­va­tor of­fer­ing a val­ued port­fo­lio of com­plete feeds, sup­ple­ments, pre­mixes, in­gre­di­ents and spe­cialty tech­nolo­gies for the live­stock and life­style an­i­mal mar­kets. Pu­rina An­i­mal Nu­tri­tion LLC is head­quar­tered in Shore­view, Minn., and a wholly owned sub­sidiary of Land O’ Lakes Inc.

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