HHD's Livestock Alternatives

By: Megan Johnson Email
By: Megan Johnson Email

Husker Harvest Days isn't just for the farm.

Vendors also bring in the latest in livestock equipment and producers showcase the best of their breeds.

But some livestock demonstrations are there to suggest an alternative way of doing things on the ranch too.

Vice President of the National Cattle Dog Association Tim Gifford has been bringing stock dogs to Husker Harvest Days for three years, and calls them the best kept secret in the industry.

"I run about 400 cows at home by myself - the dogs are my hired men," he says.

Gifford says he likes to show people how fast a job can get done with the right tools - like a cattle dog who is eager to work.

"Good labor is hard to find and a well trained do is priceless, like I said, everybody's got a dog, they might as well have manners and they might as well work for you." says Giffords.

On the other side of the HHD grounds wild horse gentling demonstrations are encouraging people to look at adoption before buying a thoroughbred.

"The wild horse and burro program is a federally funded program from the Bureau of Land Management, and so we have excess wild horses and burros from the public lands that we need to find home for," says Joe Stratton of the Elm Creek Wild Horse and Burro Center.

Ron Knodel says a wild horse can be just as good as any other.

"Some of them haven't been in captivity, not been around humans very much, so the first working or two might be a little different that the other horses," says clinician Ron Knodel. "They're all the same to me anyway."

They hope exposing people to wild horses and burros will help remove the stigma they sometimes carry.

"We have an awful lot of people that come and visit, but we would of course always like more people to come and actually adopt one of our animals," says Stratton.

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