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All about cattle welfare

By Staff | Jun 5, 2015

-Farm News photos by Larry Kershner DAVID VAINREB carries an 80-pound, 2-day calf among the pupils after administering its vaccinations. The youths named the bull calf Dave.


POCAHONTAS – About 40 sixth-graders from the Pocahontas Elementary School had a chance to tour a working cattle operation May 22 and listen to David Vainreb, who explained his approach to animal health and welfare.

The pupils looked over and handled samples of different feed ingredients and mixes, watched as Vainreb vaccinated a 2-day-old calf, and got up close and personal with a show heifer.

The Pocahontas Cattlemen’s Association was on hand to cook up burgers for the youths.

Vainreb opened his operation in 2013 for sixth-graders to tour his cattle finishing operation. In 2015, he has shifted gears to a beef breeding operation.

MICHAEL PETERSEN, left, of Pocahontas, and Dane Johnson, Pomeroy, sample the texture and smell of various feed types and mixtures used on the Bar V Cattle Co., in rural Pocahontas.

Through the use of tools and hormones, his plan is to bring all the heifers to ovulation at the same time.

He said his focus now is to synchronize 240 Angus heifers, which came from western states, for artificial insemination with Angus semen.

After 40 days the heifers will have ultrasound tests to determine pregnancy. Heifers that are still open will be bred with Hereford bulls, Vainreb said.

The plan is to then sell his herd as bred heifers with November and December delivery.

Sixth-grader Dane Johnson, of Pomeroy, said he thought the tour was “a cool experience. “I hope to do it again.”

DAVID VAINREB shows the youths how a calf is vaccinated and the products that are used.

Johnson said he lives on a farm, where the livestock features chickens.

Sixth-grader Madeline Nelson, of Rolfe, lives on a farm with cattle belonging to her grandfather.

“I just have to learn more about them (cattle),” she said. “I learned that giving shots is so precise. “It’s very intricate.”

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