Innovative Livestock Services, Inc.
Down Arrow
Monday, November 4 2019 5:00 PM
By Anne Burkholder

What does a cattle truck have in common with a school bus?

I remember the first time that I watched one of my kids ride away on the school bus. The Cross-Country team was headed to a meet, and I said a soft prayer for safe travels and tried to keep my worry at bay.  I’m not sure what it’s like in bigger cities, but in rural Nebraska and Kansas our kids are often bused long distances for athletics and other competitive activities. As an assistant coach, sometimes I not only get to watch the bus drive away but I also get to ride on it.

When I think of a true unsung hero, I think of our school bus drivers. They literally hold our kids’ lives in their hands.

It takes a team to keep our kids safe and logistically deliver them to where they need to be in a timely manner. The bus driver is the leader, but the Activities Director – coaches – students and maintenance crew all work together to ensure a successful trip. At the end of the day, the goal is to keep everyone safe.

While the “cargo load” is a bit different with a cattle truck, the goal, leadership and team work necessary for a successful trip remains the same. The leader behind the wheel – the unsung hero – works carefully with the feedyard and the packing plant to ensure that the animals receive good care while on the road. Together they make a team.

When I think of important qualities for our unsung heroes, patience tops the list. Cattle easily sense the moods of their caregivers, and transportation stress is greatly reduced by having a calm leader. Truck drivers often help load the cattle onto the truck – are the primary caregivers while in transit – and unload the cattle when they reach their destination. A great truck driver brings patience, dependability, and compassion together to make the best possible experience for the animals.

Equally important is the dedication to detail of the rest of the transportation team – this includes the feedyard animal caregivers as well as the packing plant where the cattle will unload at the end of the trip. As is often the case in life, it’s the little things that matter most. Pre-trip planning and scheduling for both safety and a timely unload helps to ensure that the animals’ trip on the truck is both short and comfortable.

Our animals give the ultimate sacrifice. We honor that sacrifice as we provide good care, not just in our Progressive Beef certified cattle feedyards but also with our teammates who ensure that faithful care continues as our animals make the final trip to the packing plant.

Completing the cycle of good care – it matters to our animals and it matters to our team.

 

 

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Innovative Livestock Services, Inc.

Innovative Livestock Services

2006 Broadway Avenue
Great Bend, KS 67530

(620) 793-9200

4805 Vue du Lac
Manhattan, KS 66503

(785) 587-9700

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