let's talk farm animals

Napanee dairy farmer in 2014 Faces of Farming calendar

By Kelly Daynard

Dairy farmers Kevin and Adrianna MacLean enjoy interacting with the public and answering their questions about farming.

Dairy farmers Kevin and Adrianna MacLean enjoy interacting with the public and answering their questions about farming.

Napanee - You may not have thought of celebrating Christmas with a herd of dairy cows but that’s just what residents of Napanee did last year when they were invited to a special holiday open house event at Ripplebrook Farm.

Ripplebrook Farm is a third generation family farm operated by Kevin MacLean, his parents Barton and Barbara and his step-son Taylor. The family milk 130 cows and crop 750 acres.

The family always embraces opportunities to showcase the farm and often host tours throughout the year. Last year, they decided to host a “Christmas with the Cows” event for their community. They had no idea how many people might attend and were both surprised and pleased when 200 showed up to watch their evening milking and spend the evening in the barn.

That’s just one example of Kevin’s work as an agricultural advocate – or agvocate. Youth groups, service groups and school trips all enjoy feeding the young calves and “helping” to milk the cows. A friendly member of their herd, nicknamed “Carrie the Curious Cow” is always a special hit with the visitors.

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Posted by Farm and Food Care on June 20th, 2014 :: Filed under 4-H,Agricultural Advocates,AgVocacy,Dairy cattle,Education and public awareness,Faces of Farming,Horses,milk
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Livestock on the road – how you can help in an accident

By Jean Clavelle

Wtransport PICell, it’s that time of year.  Cattle are coming home from pasture, calves are being weaned and sent to feedlot and horse enthusiasts are enjoying the last few pleasant riding days left of the season.  No one plans to have one, but accidents do happen especially when animals are involved.  And whether you are the one involved in a motor vehicle accident or an innocent bystander it’s important to know what to do and how you can help when livestock are on the loose.

The top 5 things you need to know about livestock in an emergency:

  1. Livestock do not understand lights and sirens mean pullover.  This will definitely not make them stop.
  2. When an animal feels cornered, it will fight or try to run.
  3. Livestock view us as predators and their natural instinct is to flee from predators.
  4. Prey animals are herd animals and become extremely agitated when isolated or separated from other animals.  Single animals are extremely dangerous animals.
  5. Once livestock are excited or scared it will take at least 20 to 30 minutes to calm them back down.
    Read All »

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Posted by Farm and Food Care on October 4th, 2013 :: Filed under animal handling,Animal welfare,Beef cattle,Broiler Breeders,Chickens,Horses,Misconceptions,Pigs,Poultry,Sheep,Transportation,Turkeys,Uncategorized,Veterinarians,Weather
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Farm Animal Council of Saskatchewan pleased with the success of another ‘We Care’ Billboard Campaign!

By Jean Clavelle

TBillboard campaign June 16his year marks another triumph for the “We Care” billboard campaign initiated by the Farm Animal Council of Saskatchewan (FACS).  The program, which began in 1996, feature beef, bison, horse, chicken, egg and swine producers with their animals and are posted around busy thoroughfares of Saskatoon, Regina and Moose Jaw.

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Posted by Farm and Food Care on September 20th, 2013 :: Filed under Activism,Agricultural Advocates,Agriculture Education,Animal care,Beef cattle,Broiler Breeders,Canada,Chickens,Consumers,Dairy cattle,eggs,Faces of Farming,Farm life,Future of Farming,Horses,Media,Pigs,Pork,Poultry,Sheep,Speaking out,Uncategorized
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A biosecurity plan for all horses

by Jean Clavelle

If you have ever had anything to do with livestock, chances are you’ve heard the word biosecurity.   Biosecurity refers to practices designed to prevent, reduce or eliminate the introduction and incidental spread of disease.  Most of us would associate this with poultry or swine production systems but have you ever thought about biosecurity as it relates to your horse?

Horses are often kept in areas of high traffic and are therefore of high risk for exposure to disease.   With some basic practices and common sense you can reduce the biosecurity risk for your own horses whether you have a herd of 20 or of 1!  Pasture Horse

Here are a few tips:

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Posted by FACS on July 12th, 2013 :: Filed under Agriculture Education,Animal health,Barns,Horses,Uncategorized,Veterinarians
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Playing the industry

Guest blog by Dan Murphy, veteran food-industry journalist and commentator. This commentary first appeared in Drover Magazine

Two recent events, both of which are under the radar of most industry participants, represent classic examples of how the animal activist community generates support for its agenda—and more importantly, how a divided, disinterested citizenry often plays right into their hands.

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Posted by FFC on November 26th, 2012 :: Filed under Activism,Horses,Rodeos,Transportation
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Talking to animals on a whole new level

When Heather Donkers realized health restrictions would prevent her from working on her family’s dairy farm, she knew she had to find a way to still play a role in caring for animals.

Her health treatments included Body Talk, a relatively new natural health practice.  Donkers was so happy with the way her treatments were going, she took a course to be a certified practitioner, and that was when things began to fall into place.  One day she found out Body Talk could be practiced on animals. A course called Access Animals taught the basics of it.

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Posted by Farm and Food Care on August 9th, 2012 :: Filed under Animal care,animal handling,Animal health,Dairy cattle,Horses,Uncategorized
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Livestock Handling Tips from Dr. Temple Grandin

Livestock handling tips from Dr. Temple Grandin

By Kelly Daynard

In a recent blog, we focused on a recent presentation by Dr. Temple Grandin that was held in Mississauga and promised to share more about the lecture, sponsored by the Farm & Food Care Foundation.

In a talk that was both entertaining and thought-provoking, Dr. Grandin gave some animal handing tips that were brilliant in their relative simplicity. Here are a few of her examples:

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Posted by Farm and Food Care on June 28th, 2012 :: Filed under Agriculture Education,Animal care,animal handling,Auction sales,Beef cattle,Codes of Practice,Dairy cattle,Horses,Housing,Meat/slaughter plants,Other livestock,Pigs,Poultry,Sheep,Temple Grandin,Uncategorized
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Annual “Friend of OFAC” award presented to well-loved agricultural advocate

By Patricia Grotenhuis, lifelong farmer and agricultural advocate

A great man in agricultural education was given a much-deserved recognition by the Ontario Farm Animal Council at its annual general meeting on April 5.

Fred Cahill, owner of the Texas Longhorn Ranch and known to countless people simply as “Cowboy Fred” has joined an elite group of agricultural enthusiasts who have received the “Friend of OFAC” award over the last 12 years. 

Cowboy Fred talks to some young visitors at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair during a show in its education ring.

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Posted by FFC on April 6th, 2011 :: Filed under Beef cattle,Canada,Education and public awareness,Farm life,Horses
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Cow whisperer aims to improve livestock handling

From horse whisperer to cow whisperer - we like the way this livestock handler relates to his animals - OFAC

For the full story and photos, visit http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j7bBWFLOlyxoJypwFO39EOgj5ecAD9HH4UR80

Cow whisperer aims to improve livestock handling
By MATT VOLZ (AP) – 10 hours ago

WOLF CREEK, Mont. — The herd of lowing cows parted like a wave before Curt Pate, who rode straight up to the bull and let him know who was in charge without making a sound.

Pate, a 49-year-old Montana cowboy who consulted on the 1998 Robert Redford film “The Horse Whisperer,” switched his focus to cows about five years ago and has been traveling the country teaching ranchers to think like cattle and use low-stress methods of handling livestock.

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Posted by FFC on August 11th, 2010 :: Filed under Animal care,animal handling,Animal health,Beef cattle,Horses,Research

Cowgirl blogger; A farmer’s wife tackles social media

We’re excited to see the amount of farmers that are using social media outlets to tell their stories about farming. Here’s a great article from the July 12 edition of the Calgary Herald that features once such farmer. We’re now following her on Twitter and hope you will too! - OFAC

Cowgirl blogger; A farmer’s wife tackles social media
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Cathryn Hagel can milk a cow and drive a tractor. She helps brand her family’s cattle and she’s chased a coyote or two.

And just for fun, she and her family bought a team of draught horses last year. Y’know: the great big ones that pull wagons filled with people.

But she’s no country bumpkin. Not at all. She’s part of a small but growing number of farm women reaching out to each other and beyond, with the help of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and blogging.

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Posted by FFC on July 12th, 2010 :: Filed under Animal care,Beef cattle,Canada,Education and public awareness,Farm life,Horses,Sustainability of the family farm