Free online or in-person training on safe handling of non-ambulatory animals—down cows—is now available for dairy farms in the Northeast. The training can help farms comply with Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) program requirements for continuing education.
Provided in English or Spanish by farm safety educators from the Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety and the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH), this training can be delivered in conjunction with other safety topics, such as skidsteer operation, chemicals, needles, and confined space awareness—also at no cost. It can serve as a training component for new dairy workers as well as a refresher with those who are more experienced.
The training is available online via Zoom to dairies across the Northeast. In-person trainings are available to dairies in New York and Vermont. Upon completion, farms will receive a copy of the training roster for their records.
The module was developed in accordance with the FARM program standards for non-ambulatory animal care. It emphasizes prevention, preparation and prompt action in appropriately responding to and caring for down cows. Workers will learn about common causes as well as considerations to take when transporting these animals.
“Even with all the proper management and facility considerations, things can happen,” explains Cornell CCE Regional Dairy Specialist Lindsay Ferlito. “Animals may become non-ambulatory and need special care, and it’s the farm’s responsibility to prepare for the worst and be able to respond quickly and appropriately.”
Proper care for down cows is a vital part of any dairy farm’s cow care program. Additionally, annual continuing education training for workers handling these animals is a requirement of the National Dairy FARM Program Version 4.0. The goal is to keep non-ambulatory animals comfortable and help them recover from illness or injury.
The training unit was developed by a team of safety educators from the Northeast Center, NYCAMH, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and a dairy manufacturing facility in NY.
For more information about this training, or to request a session for your farm, contact the Northeast Center at 800-343-7527 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A program of Bassett Healthcare Network, NYCAMH’s mission is to enhance agricultural and rural health by preventing and treating occupational injury. Similarly, the Northeast Center promotes health and safety research, education, and prevention activities in the high-risk areas of farming, commercial fishing and logging. Serving a twelve-state region from Maine through West Virginia, the Northeasat Center is one of 11 agricultural centers across the country designated by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.