A series of new beef cattle online training modules has been released by the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University. The series was produced in part with funds from a $25 million grant distributed to 16 institutions in 2012.
The purpose of the $25 million effort is to focus on the prevention, reduction and control of the shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) from pre-harvest through consumption of beef products. Awarded to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Institute of Food and Agriculture Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP) grant team is made up of 50 investigators, including many from K-State.
In continued efforts to raise awareness for the grant’s objectives, the latest training modules focus on the fifth major objective of the grant: education and outreach. Made up of 11 sections, the STEC Beef Safety Training, titled “Translation of STEC: Mitigation to Field Implementation,” is a series of comprehensive modules, available in both English and Spanish. Covered topics of E. coli prevention in beef safety include pre-harvest operations that consist of feedlot, cow-calf, veal and cull dairy cows, and post-harvest operations for small-scale processors, distributors and restaurants.
“We are pleased to deliver this important tool for people involved in the beef industry to learn about preventing E. coli in beef and veal,” said Dan Thomson, director of K-State’s Beef Cattle Institute. “I commend the USDA for stepping forward and funding such outreach projects that will reach the trenches of production animal caregivers.”
Since the training modules are available in both English and Spanish, the efforts will likely reach a wider audience.
“Providing bilingual employee-based training will be a great tool for people involved with beef production, from the farm to the plate, to learn how to do their part to provide safe, nutritious beef products,” Thomson added.
Rodney Moxley, professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UNL and project coordinator for the STEC CAP grant, feels that working with the BCI to develop the modules will allow them to reach a larger audience.
“This takes advantage of BCI’s expertise, as (the BCI) is state of the art for this kind of education,” he said. “The beauty of the modules is that there is assessment built into the training, providing assurance and documentation of what they’ve learned.”
Whether it’s working with live cattle in the packing plant or on the retail end of beef products, Moxley is confident the modules will help the team achieve its goals in education and outreach, as the trainings target individuals in specific areas.