Preventative Education

K-State advances research and education outreach to address Fatigued Cattle Syndrome.

Fatigued Cattle Syndrome (FCS) was identified by researchers from Kansas State University in 2014. Results of their research, which was funded by a grant from Merck Animal Health, concluded that cattle that are stressed during the end of the feeding period may experience FCS, which has the potential to cause mobility issues. The identification of FCS is significant for producers, nutritionists, veterinarians and packing plant personnel — really anyone who works with cattle — because it brings to light multiple factors that can impact cattle movement. 

To address the FCS issue, Dr. Dan Thomson and Chris Reinhardt, Ph.D., professors in Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, are developing a prevention program. It will feature educational modules, training videos and handouts to assist feedlots, transporters and packers in the identification and management of FCS. Merck Animal Health will help support this educational program.

“We are committed to helping the beef industry find ways to continually enhance the preparation of cattle for transportation from the feedyard to the harvest floor,” said John Hutcheson, Ph.D., director of ruminant nutrition at Merck Animal Health. “By supporting initiatives focused on animal well-being, we are helping to further expand our knowledge base on animal handling, helping make good practices better, providing relevant information and training, supporting the needs of producers and contributing to the industry’s continuous improvement efforts.”

“We appreciate the significant commitment that Merck Animal Health is making to this important education initiative,” said Thomson, Jones professor of production medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine and director of the Beef Cattle Institute at K-State. “This support allows the research to be translated into education for FCS prevention. Providing a platform for education on FCS enables the beef industry to utilize our online training programs to improve communication throughout the food animal production chain, maintain our focus on cattle health and well-being, and enhance the safety of cattle and the people working with the animals.” 

Philanthropic contributions to K-State are coordinated by the Kansas State University Foundation. The KSU Foundation was established in 1944 as the official fundraising arm of Kansas State University. It is a separate, independent entity chartered by the state of Kansas as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit education corporation. The foundation is leading Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas State University to raise $1 billion for student success, faculty development, facility enhancement and programmatic success.

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