Beef Producers Invited to Stockmanship, Cattle Handling and BQA Workshops

link opens in new window/tab note: pdf files open in new window/tab


Tom Noffsinger.

Tom Noffsinger

VINTON, Iowa – Learning and applying appropriate low stress cattle handling methods can benefit both the cattle and those who work with them. Those who understand cattle behavior can use that knowledge for easier animal movement whether gathering from the pasture or processing through corrals. Cattle producers are invited to attend one of three workshops in east and northeast Iowa where they'll learn from stockmanship and handling expert Dr. Tom Noffsinger of Nebraska, according to Iowa State University extension beef specialist Denise Schwab.

"Noffsinger bases his presentation on four simple principles of cattle behavior: cattle want to see you, go around you, be with other cattle, and can only process one thought at a time," Schwab said. "In these workshops he will teach cattle handling methods that improve animal movement and cattle performance by reducing the stress on livestock, and he'll demonstrate low stress cattle handling methods."

Noffsinger said good cattle handling techniques can make a world of difference.

"Wherever we encourage cattle to move to, they should perceive they belong there. When we focus on the voluntary movement of animals, and people who volunteer to learn low-stress handling, well, that changes the world," he said. "We understand and use the animal’s visual abilities, posture angle, language, speed, and attitude - all cues to help us work with rather than against their nature."

The workshops are set for Aug. 25 and Aug. 26 as follows.

Aug. 25, 11 a.m., Fayette County Fairgrounds, West Union. (Open to all area beef producers.)
Aug. 25, 6 p.m., Wyoming Fairgrounds, Wyoming. (Open only to members of Jones County Cattlemen Association.)
Aug. 26, 9 a.m., Benton County Fairgrounds, Vinton. (Open to all area beef producers.)

In addition to the stockmanship and handling sessions at each workshop, Schwab will certify participants in the BQA (Beef Quality Assurance) program.

All workshops are free and a meal is provided at each. However, advance registration is requested to ensure adequate materials. Please register in advance by calling the Benton County Extension Office at 319-472-4739.

Noffsinger grew up on a diversified ranch with beef cows, swine, crops and a small dairy. After receiving his D.V.M. from Colorado State University in 1973, he joined the Twin Forks Vet Clinic at Benkelman, NE. His professional life took an interesting turn when he learned about Bud Williams, and then convinced the expert in stockmanship and low-stress cattle handling to live and teach in Benkelman for several years. After 32 years in beef cattle practice at the Twin Forks Clinic, Noffsinger became an independent feedlot consultant specializing in facility design, stockmanship and low-stress livestock handling.

Workshop co-sponsors are Iowa Premium; Valley Vet Clinic; Elkader Vet Clinic; Benton, Fayette and Jones County Cattlemen groups; Iowa Beef Center; ISU Extension and Outreach; and Iowa Beef Industry Council. For more information on the workshops, contact Schwab at or 319-721-9624.


The Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University was established in 1996 with the goal of supporting the growth and vitality of the state’s beef cattle industry. It comprises faculty and staff from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine, and works to develop and deliver the latest research-based information regarding the beef cattle industry. For more information about IBC, visit

Denise Schwab, Iowa State University Extension beef specialist, 319-721-9624,

2021 News and releases