Host: Myroodah Station
Written by Pam Daniell – Manager, Myroodah Station.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”
– Benjamin Franklin
When 16 Aboriginal stockmen and women exited the training room on Myroodah station this afternoon, there was a vibe of empowerment and confidence of new knowledge gained. The previous two days have seen a combination of classroom and practical hands-on learning all about the methods and principals of Low Stress Stockhandling.
Jim and Terry Lindsay from Hughenden in north-west Queensland have been delivering these two and three day schools across the north of Australia for the past 23 years. Their mission is to foster an environment of low stress interaction between people and animals, to impart knowledge that promotes a positive attitude towards low stress stock handling and to show people the economic benefits of a low stress environment.
For the second consecutive year Myroodah has hosted this school and believe it is very valuable in training staff in the best possible techniques of handling cattle. Throughout the course participants worked in small groups during the practical sessions in our cattle yards which helped them realise the importance of team work and effective communication. They learned to set the cattle up so the cattle themselves felt like they were the ones choosing where to go rather than being forced in to a situation they did not feel comfortable with. When livestock begin to feel uneasy about a situation, the stress levels begin to rise for all involved and of course this has a knock-on effect of weight loss for the cattle. The result is a working environment where safety can be compromised and the enjoyment of the job quickly disappears.
Gone are the days where increasing noise levels, movement, and the use of aids such as sticks are acceptable methods of handling and moving cattle around in paddocks and yards. The industry is transforming for the better with the continual help from people like Jim & Terry Lindsay who passionately run these training days for those they feel will benefit from them.
Our staff thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and will continue to practice their new skills learned. Apart from the obvious advantages to our livestock and their handlers, low stress stock handling is also of great benefit to the bottom line of the business. Providing training also goes a long way towards staff retention. At Myroodah it is particularly satisfying to see our indigenous employees embracing these techniques and new knowledge gained so they can not only inspire others around them, but also assist in maintaining the benchmark for best practice stock handling in the industry.