Low-stress ap­proach yields re­sults

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - NEWS - Zach Relph

The farm­ers of to­mor­row have gained in­sight into fos­ter­ing a low­stress live­stock en­vi­ron­ment to in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity and im­prove meat qual­ity at an in­no­va­tive two­day course.

Held at the Mitchell’s Trans­port de­pot in Wa­roona on Oc­to­ber 11 and 12, Low Stress Stock Han­dling trainer Gra­hame Rees out­lined the tech­niques to 14 agri­cul­tural stu­dents.

Mr Rees said the ap­proach, prac­tised on live­stock cat­tle at the event but which can also ap­ply to sheep, was ef­fec­tive in main­tain­ing live­stock weight.

“The pro­gram shares the­ory and a prac­ti­cal as­pect in an ad­vanced way that boosts pro­duc­tiv­ity and profit while al­low­ing peo­ple to work in a low-stress en­vi­ron­ment,” he said.

“A busi­ness can lose half its profit due to an­i­mal shrink­age if an­i­mals are not trans­ported and loaded cor­rectly.”

Four­teen stu­dents across the WA Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture’s Cun­derdin, Har­vey, Den­mark, Nar­ro­gin and Mo­rawa cam­puses par­tic­i­pated in the two-day course.

The stu­dents un­der­went a gru­elling se­lec­tion process to take part in the pro­gram, which in­cluded pre­par­ing a re­sume be­fore be­ing se­lected by their re­spec­tive schools.

WA Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture — Cun­derdin stu­dent Kris Par­sons said the event was a worth­while ex­er­cise.

The 16-year-old said he was ea­ger to ap­ply the tech­niques when he re­turned to his fam­ily’s pas­toral lease, Coolawanyah Sta­tion, about 100km north of Tom Price.

Mitchell’s Trans­port chief ex­ec­u­tive John Mitchell said the pro­gram pre­pared stu­dents ahead of en­ter­ing the work­force.

“We want to in­spire these peo­ple to be fu­ture in­dus­try lead­ers,” he said.

A busi­ness can lose half its profit . . . if an­i­mals are not trans­ported and loaded cor­rectly. Trainer Gra­hame Rees

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