CONTACT: Marcy Ward, 575-644-3379, maward
CORONA – Providing certified ranch safety training to employees has become a concern for ranchers since the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled in 2016 that excluding agricultural laborers from the Worker’s Compensation Act is unconstitutional.
By law the employer must provide a safe work environment and a safety program to ensure employees are trained to do their jobs safely.
New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Cooperative Extension Service has developed a ranch skill and safety series to help ranchers provide that training to their employees.
“We have visited with ranchers and they feel with the new ruling on worker’s compensation that there is a need for a safety certification training,” said Marcy Ward, NMSU’s Extension livestock specialist. “We are developing hands-on safety training that will fulfill that need.”
The Department of Extension Animal Science and Natural Resources along with NMSU’s Corona Range and Livestock Research Center will host the first event in a series of programs on Wednesday and Thursday, July 25-26, at NMSU’s Corona Ranch.
“The program is designed to provide information on animal handling and husbandry, equipment safety and education on other hazards ranchers often face,” said Craig Gifford, NMSU Extension beef specialist. “The series will cover topics relevant to the time of year when certain safety risks of the job are greatest.”
Training on the first day will focus on animal handling, fire safety, first aid, ATV/UTV safety and general ranch safety.
“Dean Fish from Arizona will provide a demonstration on low stress animal handling and handler safety,” Ward said. “As a former Extension agent and current employee at the Santa Fe Ranch in Arizona, Dean has developed clinics on cattle handling and safety.”
Doug Cram, NMSU Extension wildland fire specialist, will address how to respond to fires on the ranch.
“We will have a special webinar in the evening that will provide an interactive discussion with Tylor Braden, area manager for the King Ranch in Texas,” said Gifford. “He will be discussing the characteristics of a successful ranch employee.”
The evening event may be attended by persons not attending the daytime programs.
Second day topics will focus on animal health with training on safely following veterinary directives and nutrition.
“NMSU’s Extension veterinarian John Wenzel will be conducting training about safety while handling pharmaceuticals, animal first aid and safety when implementing animal health programs,” Ward said. “He will also be conducting Beef Quality Assurance training and a test for certification.”
Eric Scholljegerdes, NMSU associate professor of ruminant nutrition, will provide training on the basics of protein and energy, feed ingredients, importance of minerals, ration balancing considerations, avoiding metabolic disorders and feeding mistakes and supplementing when and how.
Registration fee is $100 for both days, or $50 for individual days, plus a $15 fee for a special evening webinar. Lunches and breakfast will be provided for participants. Registration deadline is July 17. Online registration is available at nmbeef.nmsu.edu.
Limited free Corona Ranch bunkhouse accommodations will be available with two-day registration, including breakfast at 7 a.m. Other overnight accommodations are available at the motel in Corona.
Training certificates will be issued to participants, along with a manual for their ranches that can serve as a resource for future training or for Occupational Safety and Health Administration documentation.