Ohio State ATI Announces Dedication of New Beef Cattle Handling Facility

August 28, 2012
WOOSTER, Ohio -- The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI) will dedicate its new beef cattle handling facility on Friday, Oct. 12, from 1-3 p.m., with remarks at 2 p.m. All members of the Ohio beef industry who are interested in seeing the facility and learning more about it are welcome to attend.

ATI worked with Grandin Livestock Handling Systems, Inc. of Fort Collins, Col., to construct a facility designed by renowned animal behaviorist Temple Grandin. The new facility will meet the needs of both Ohio State ATI and beef producers around Ohio. This progressive design includes a corral, a dual chute system with a hydraulic squeeze chute and breeding box, and sorting pens. 

One of the distinctive features of Grandin's design is a system of curved chutes combined with a round crowd pen. The tendency of cattle when herded is to move back in the direction they came from. The round pen moves the cattle through a 180-degree turn, thus working with rather than against their natural behavior. The curved chutes allow the cattle to see two or three animal lengths ahead, which is important because, according to Grandin, "cattle will refuse to go somewhere if they can’t see a place to go." The curved design also conceals livestock handlers, whose presence might make cattle balk. These measures reduce the amount of stress cattle experience during handling.

Each year, approximately 45 students are welcomed into one of two beef cattle programs at Ohio State ATI: associate of applied science in livestock management and associate of science in livestock science. Students enrolled in these programs are preparing themselves for careers in beef production and its associated industries, with many of them striving to be progressive beef cattle managers.

With the new facility, the Ohio State ATI beef programs are teaching students more about safe animal handling and the benefits of designing livestock handling facilities based on animal behavior rather than human convenience. 

 
"Efficiency, humane handling and animal welfare are essential components of any beef operation," said ATI Director of Farm Operations Mark Schleppi. "This design will facilitate each of these." 
 
In addition to teaching the next generation of beef producers with this new working facility, ATI also hopes to welcome current beef industry members to learn more about beef cattle handling through training that will be offered to industry through ATI’s Business Training and Educational Services.

The facility is located off Apple Creek Road in Wooster. For directions, please visit http://ati.osu.edu/livestock.

Located in Wooster, Ohio, ATI is an associate degree-granting program within Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Ohio State ATI is the largest institution of its kind in the U.S., enrolling approximately 650 students and offering 34 programs of study. It is ranked No. 1 in the nation in the production of associate degrees in agriculture and related sciences.

 
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Author(s): 
Frances Whited