The veterinary extension program is an outreach program housed within the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry. It is designed to support the efforts of county agricultural agents, area and state extension specialists, practicing veterinarians, the livestock industry, and ultimately the sustainability and profitability of individual livestock producers throughout Kansas and the nation. The primary focus of the program is health management, and the primary species supported is beef cattle. All segments of the beef cattle industry are supported – cow/calf, stocker and feedlot. The program works collaboratively with other programs and individuals in the Colleges of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine. The program also includes clinically-relevant research to provide answers that can be applied to real-life situations in the field.
The health management focus includes many aspects: practical biosecurity; interactions between health and production; traditional livestock disease prevention, control and management; foreign animal disease prevention, control and management; economics of health management; electronic identification of animals; animal health product selection, use and administration; and practical implementation of regulatory programs. It includes issues management of topics important to livestock producers, such as bioterrorism/ agro terrorism, country-of-origin labeling, national animal identification system implementation, foreign animal disease implications, pre-harvest food safety, enhanced marketability of livestock, and regulatory requirements of animal health programs and product use.
The program is delivered through a variety of media, including area and statewide livestock agent training sessions; presentations at county, multi-county, area, state, multi-state and national livestock industry, producer and veterinary meetings; livestock field day and Cattlemen’s Day presentations/demonstrations and reports; direct consultation with livestock producers, veterinarians and allied industry; agriculture radio reports; extension bulletins, fact sheets, electronic newsletters and press releases; and published information in local, regional and state livestock publications and national veterinary and animal science journals.
The program helps create awareness of health management and related issues in the minds of livestock producers and their influencers, and results in changed habits, attitudes and activities.