Volume 6 (January 2020)

After a much needed sabbatical, Stockmanship Journal is back.

If there's a theme for this issue, it's calf health. It begins with a unique slice of Bud Williams, an edited transcript of a private two-day stockmanship school. Wally Olson, the then manager/lessee of the Kelley Ranch in Oklahoma, hosted the school for his crew in 2007. The emphasis was calf health. Wally tape recorded the school and gave me the tapes ten years later. I transcribed and edited them into a 29 page transcript organized by subject heading.

The next short article is excerpted from a stockmanship school at Vee Tee Feeders in Lloydminster, Alberta in 1998 that was recorded and transcribed by Peter Donovan of Managing Wholes. The excerpts include Bud Williams and Richie Davies (co-owner of Vee Tee and Bud's boss) on calf health, mindset and attitude.

This is followed by an article on "Stockmanship and Emotional Fitness in Newly Received Cattle." It is written by Bud's senior student, Dawn Hnatow, who spent ten years working with Bud during his tenure at Vee Tee, then followed him to Texas where she worked with him closely for several more years. Although the article focuses on feedlots, the invaluable information contained therein is equally applicable to any livestock operation.

I've been fortunate to spend a lot of time with Dawn since our first meeting in 2013. A copious notetaker, I committed my several pocket notebooks of conversations with Dawn to an edited and categorized 29-page compilation her pearls of wisdom.

In "Distractions: Fact or Fancy?" I examine Temple Grandin's assertion that one of the biggest impediments to cattle flowing smoothly through processing facilities is distractions which, she contends, cause balking.

Bud and Eunice spent several years living and working on ranches on the northern California coast, and this is where Eunice shot some of the earliest movies of Bud working cattle. In January of 2019 I visited that area to meet and interview two ranchers who Bud worked for, the Hunt's and Ford's.

In Applied Stockmanship, I begin a series of success stories from the field. Over the years I've received dozens of unsolicited stories from practitioners of low-stress livestock handling who were eager to share their experiences. These stories not only illustrate the effectiveness of low-stress livestock handling, but they are motivational; that is, they show some of what's possible.

In this issue I Interview Richie and Don Davies of Vee Tee Feeders, Inc. Richie was Bud's boss and Don, as a young man, spent a lot of time working with Bud in the feedlot.

Both the Mythbusters and Research Pearls sections deal with our theme--albeit tangentially--and in Instructional Materials Review I review Richard McConnell’s and Tina Williams’ stockmanship school, a “stress free animal handling workshop” by Temple Grandin and Curt Pate, and Bob Kinford's DVD, Stockmanship 101: Rebooting Herd Instinct.

Masthead photo: Bryce Baldock, Sieben Live Stock Co., Cascade, Montana

Body photo: Lloyd Mann, Sieben Live Stock Co., Cascade, Montana

2020 Open Clinic Schedule

Introductory clinics:

  • March 5-6. Weatherford, TX
  • September 24-26. Wells, NV

Intermediate clinics

  • March 12-13. Ponca City, OK
  • June 25-27. Monida, MT
  • July 6-7. Alder, MT