Pate and Cowboys Aim to Fix Industry's Reputation

Photo courtesy of the Hawaiian Horse Expo
The Beef Checkoff Program is seeking new ways to assure the general public livestock are not abused on most farms following the widely viewed videos of Ohio producers beating cows with pitchforks. One way the organization is fixing livestock producer’s reputation is by funding cowboys like Curt Pate to teach producers how to handle cattle.
Pate’s technique is not ordinary and he is best known for his attribution to the 1998 Robert Redford film, “The Horse Whisperer.” Today Pate travels the country teaching ranchers to think like cattle and handle them in a low-stress manner.
For example, Pate teaches how to steer a bull away from females in an empty pasture without disrupting the cows or getting them excited.
“It’s not like you just walk behind him and chase him like you see in the movies,” Pate told the Associated Press. “Then they can get to fighting you. That’s the important thing with bulls. If you do the wrong things, they either go and hide or they fight you.”
Pate moved the bull by moving his horse towards the bull. “I work the eye,” he explained. “That’s our best form of communication with the animal.”
The Cattlemen’s Association firmly believes in these tactics and sends cowboys to state fairs and other public workshops to teach livestock producers safe ways to deal with their animals.
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