Branding can be safe
Published on April 11, 2020
The branding season has begun in Wyoming. This is not only a necessary annual chore on cattle ranches, it is the social event of the year for many ranchers.
Family, employees and neighbors all get together to complete the task, then enjoy spirited conversations and great home-cooked food. However, a 2020 branding will represent one of the highest COVID-19 risks to many ranching families.
Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) has taken the healthcare advice provided by the experts and attempted to adopt it to the branding corral.
“When available, utilize a calf table to reduce the number of people needed and to allow participants to better maintain distances,” WSGA suggests. “Where possible, do not exceed 10 people.”
“Where possible, plan to accomplish this work using only family members and employees who are already on the ranch,” WSGA says.
“Respect employees and do not require them to travel to brandings at other ranches unless they are comfortable in doing so,” they stress. “Do not allow family members or employees who are elderly or have health problems to participate.”
WSGA continues, “If neighbors are coming to assist, insist they do not include similar vulnerable individuals. Maintain six-foot separations when not engaged in an activity that demands a closer working space.”
“Avoid all handshakes, hugs and other physical contact,” WSGA says. “Prepare or purchase boxed meals which can be set out, picked up by those participating and be eaten while ‘sitting on the fence’ and maintaining distance. Do not gather around the kitchen table.”
WSGA recommends following all other general recommendations regarding hand washing and sanitation.