Engage with cattle well-being experts in Wisconsin Dells on February 21


Jennifer Van Os, Opinion, Wisconsin State Farmer

Feb. 10, 2020


Animal welfare is a key component to the sustained viability of our cattle industries. Providing top-quality animal care following the latest science-backed best practices just makes good sense. Ensuring good animal well-being is not only the responsible thing to do for the animals under our care, but can also translate to a better bottom line for the farm operation and help us maintain consumer confidence in the long run.


The UW-Madison Division of Extension presents an annual Dairy & Beef Well-Being Conference to support and strengthen our stateís beef and dairy cattle industries through a focus on animal well-being. This year, we are pleased to partner with the Wisconsin Cattlemenís Association (WCA), who will be hosting our education program within their 2020 Winter Conference on Friday, February 21 at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells.


Our exciting program will present the latest scientific research on beef and dairy cattle welfare along with perspectives from industry programs serving to raise consumer confidence and from decision makers in the food supply chain. Science can play a key role in decision making and policies around animal care. Animal welfare science includes biological approaches to understand the animalís behavior and physiology, as well as social-science techniques to understand the beliefs, attitudes, and values people have around animal welfare.


We will kick off the program with updates on the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) and Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Animal Care programs. These industry programs serve an important role in assuring stakeholders in the supply chain that our beef and dairy cattle industries are proactively establishing and following high standards for animal care.


The updates will be presented by Chase DeCoite, Director of BQA Programs with the National Cattlemenís Beef Association and Emily Yeiser-Stepp, Senior Director of the National Milk Producers Federationís Dairy FARM Program. Mr. DeCoiteís Masters research studied consumer perceptions of beef animal welfare programs, whereas Ms. Yeiser-Steppís Masters research evaluated impacts of mastitis and metabolic diseases on dairy cow behavior...