PAC Dr. Kev

(Nels) Welcome to AGam in Kansas. We’re gathered here at Oberlin, Kansas, for our 4th Annual Production Animal Consultation Summit Meeting where we invite our feedyards, their managers, owners, crew leaders to come in and we provide a day of good, solid education. We bring in speakers literally from all over the world, as you’re about to find out. With that we’ve got Dr. Kev Sullivan here, crazy, Australian veterinarian, but very good if we don’t mind to say. We’re glad that he’s here, he comes, speaks at it pretty much every year. Dr. Kev, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got to where you are. (Kev) Dr. Nels I live in a small town of 300 people and have a veterinary practice with six practitioners out of that. I got interested in the feedlot business about 25 years ago and came over the U.S. to learn about it. And in that journey I met Dr. Tom and then many years later as the business grew I started to bring tour groups over, little groups of managers and influential people to learn about the business and we met up with Dr. Tom on one of those trips. And then I got interested in the cattle handling and from that I come back very regularly to learn more and improve and keep bringing people here. And that association with Dr. Tom, and then I met Wade and the rest of the gang and I was privileged to be invited to join PAC. (Nels) Well, we’re glad to have you here. So, for today you’re gonna speak to the group. What is the main area of your topic today? (Kev) Well today, it’s a little bit of an adventure cause we’re looking at the latest changes in heat stress management. We’ve talked about it a few times at these meetings. So, there’s been some good research and I like to update with what we can do to help mitigate those problems. And secondly there was a big research project in Australia about reducing or looking for the risks of respiratory disease, and those risks are being highlighted and today I’d just like to talk a little bit about that research. What can we do to actually improve the well-being of these animals and reduce the risk of respiratory disease. (Nels) So with that, when we think about respiratory disease and beef cattle, what are, in terms of risk factors, what are the top two or three things we can think about or do to help mitigate or reduce those risk factors to improve respiratory health in these cattle? (Kev) Well there’s a few things we can’t change. We can’t change the weather and we can’t change the seasons and we can’t change the way we live, right? (Nels) Correct. (Kev) But what we can do and what we’ve learned is that preparation of cattle is the single most important thing. Getting those cattle yard-weaned, getting those cattle prepared, getting those cattle so they’ve also converted to all the viruses before they come to the feedyard. (Nels) Sure. (Kev) That’s about the single biggest thing we can do. The second thing we can do is we know that if you have, if you co-mingle lots of cattle, they get sick. So if you’re in a situation where you do have to co-mingle cattle, give them time to get set up. So they need like 28 days if you’ve got a lot of small groups, 28 days before they come into the feedyard, together as a group. And if you’ve only got a few groups, maybe three or four different groups of cattle, then they only need 14 days. And you can then vac those cattle and prep ’em up in that time and that makes, that really reduces the risks by many, many fold. (Nels) Before you take ’em to the yard. (Kev) Before you take ’em to the yard, yea. (Nels) You bet. (Kev) That might be difficult but it’s worth doing, these animals are pretty precious to us. (Nels) OK so with that also, you have a colorful past and history, tell us about your 30 years of playing cricket in Australia so the audience can understand you a little bit better. (Kev) Well, I got a passion for cricket as most Australians do, and when I was young I was an angry man and an angry fast baller, and I wounded many batsmen. (Nels) So, what’s a batsman? (Kev) A batsman is a guy who hits a run. It’s like in baseball. He’s facing up and a bowler, which I was, would come in and try and hit him actually. Basically try to terrorize him and intimidate him so he’ll make a mistake and get out. So I did that for 30 years. But as you get older, you get a little slower. You’re not quite as fit. So we had a lot of fun. And I’ve got a lot of wickets over those years. But the most important thing of that, was I had the opportunity to play cricket with my two sons for a whole season. (Nels) Yep. (Dan) And that was really special. Really special. (Nels) Very good. Not everybody gets to say they did that. Well, thanks for being here folks today. Thanks for being a great Kansan.

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