Volume 4, Issue 1 (January 2015)
A primary purpose of the Journal is to collect, preserve, and disseminate quality information on low-stress livestock handling, which means the ideas and methods articulated and taught by Bud Williams. In response to a question I posed to Bud in 2007, he replied that none of his students knew all that he did about working livestock, but that various ones “have parts of it.” One of my goals is to find those people and record those parts.
One such person is Guy Glosson. Bud worked for Guy for four months in 1989 on the ranch he was managing in Texas. Having worked one-on-one with Bud, Guy has a legitimate slice of the Bud Williams stockmanship pie. During that time Bud and Guy worked cattle most every day. In this issue Guy writes about what he learned. Also, Guy is profiled and interviewed. The Profile includes a professionally shot 17 minute video of Guy’s work teaching low-stress livestock handling in Africa.
This issue begins with an article on how to properly approach and start cattle—an essential but little understood and often overlooked part of successful driving.
Then, we are fortunate to have a contribution by Lynn Locatelli, DVM and Dawn Hnatow (both profiled and interviewed in prior issues) on fundamentals of driving. Driving is basic to everything we do with cattle, so to do it properly is a key component of low-stress livestock handling. Dr. Lynn and Dawn teach us how.
We also are fortunate to have a very interesting contribution from Marcos Giménez-Zapiola, Ph.D., a rancher and teacher of low-stress livestock handling in Argentina, and the author of El Buen Trato Del Ganado (Good Livestock Treatment), a collection of 46 articles he has written on livestock handling. His article in this issue is on a novel way to efficiently and effectively work cattle through funnel-shaped crowd pens. The article includes numerous photographs and short videos that clearly augment the text.
For the first time in the Journal, I am publishing a letter to the editor and a reply. The letter, written by Marcos Giménez-Zapiola in response to the article, Grandin’s Approach to Facilities and Animal Handling: An Analysis, published in the last issue, is an articulate and well-informed appraisal. As editor, I think it is an important read, not only for its content, but because of the respectful and professional manner and tone in which it is written, as well as the reply, which is a model for others to follow. After all, one of the stated objectives of the Journal is to provide “a forum for the clear communication of relevant information within the discipline, thereby improving the level of discourse which advances the discipline itself. Progress within scientific, academic and other professional disciplines follows a standard procedure: original contributions by subject experts published in a journal to be read and critiqued by the relevant community.” Unfortunately, some in the “relevant community” (i.e., the livestock industry) do not adequately understand or appreciate this basic tenet.
In the Applied Stockmanship section, Matt Barnes, the rangeland stewardship director of Keystone Conservation in Montana, reports on a grazing lands management project that tested two different innovative grazing methods that involved stockmanship.
As is now customary, the issue includes the Mythbusters, Research Pearls, Instructional Materials Review, and Resources sections.
Editor’s note: I wish to thank Steve Cote for his permission to use renditions of several diagrams from his book, Stockmanship: A Powerful Tool for Grazing Lands Management.