A national online training program, Animal Care Training, for beef and dairy production is now available to help educate livestock producers and handlers learn best livestock management practices.

The program, available in both English and Spanish, was designed to benefit beef and dairy producers, animal transporters, livestock auction market employees and bovine veterinarians.

The program is the result of collaborations between the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) and Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) with the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University.

Web-based audiovisual training modules on topics such as animal husbandry, animal welfare, environmental stewardship and food safety practices for the beef and dairy industries are available.

“Producers and veterinarians continue to provide outstanding care for their beef and dairy cattle,” said Dr. Dan Thomson, director of the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University. “As new practices evolve or technologies emerge to improve animal welfare or food safety, we need a mechanism to rapidly share the information and training in remote locations. 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.”

Web-based education

The Animal Care Training program is managed by the Beef Cattle Institute and features streaming multimedia modules in English and Spanish. It is designed to provide online training in various areas of animal care for employees internationally.

“As a consulting veterinarian, the training modules are a new tool for my business,” said Dr. Nels Lindberg, Animal Medical Center. “With rapid turnover of employees in feedyard operations, this distance education tool is great for those clients that I see routinely and those that I can’t reach as often as I would like. The quizzes built into the modules keep individuals engaged and provide additional training that feedyard managers are looking for.”

Employees can work through the training modules in English or Spanish at any time. Training employees is essential for worker safety, employee retention, and production of wholesome products. When a training package is complete, a certificate of completion will be available for printing.

“By registering employees, a manager can track progress as employees work through the training program and those that complete training are recorded in a national database of certified producers,” said Clayton Huseman, executive director, feedlot division, Kansas Livestock Association. “The training modules on Animal Care Training are an excellent tool for training all feedyard employees in beef quality assurance.”

National online training program for beef quality assurance

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,” said Ryan Ruppert, senior director, Beef Quality Assurance, National Cattlemen's Beef Association. “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.”