Cattle in yards

Beef Fundamentals

Started Jan 15, 2024

Spots remaining: 7


Full course description

The Beef Fundamentals Course aims to support landholders that are new to the beef industry and/or have smaller herds.


The course will also benefit existing landholders running cattle, providing a refresher in one or more areas of beef production.  


The Beef Fundamentals course has been developed by livestock experts, including veterinarians, livestock advisors and development officers from NSW Department of Primary Industries and Local Land Services, based on common questions they receive in-field.


Limited placements to complete the course at no cost are available for landholders across NSW.


The course content will cover:


Module 1 – Cattle Nutrition & Feeding

  1. The most common breed types and cattle classes in Australia
  2. The four-stomach digestive system of cattle and the important role it plays in nutrient extraction
  3. The process of digestion in cattle
  4. Key nutritional terms and what they mean for cattle
  5. The important role of water for cattle
  6. Feed requirements of various classes of cattle
  7. Strategies to manage feed surpluses and shortfalls

Module 2 – Pastures & Grazing

  1. Learn how to assess pasture quantity and quality by evaluation herbage mass, digestibility and understand its impact on cattle performance
  2. Select a grazing system for your enterprise
  3. Recognise the advantages and disadvantages of feeding grain and other protein and non-protein nitrogen (NPN) supplements to meet cattle's nutritional needs during feed shortages
  4. Adapt grazing practices according to seasonal changes that affect pasture growth and quality
  5. Choose feed options to provide optimal nutrition for cattle's best performance and differentiate hay and silage


Module 3 – Responsibilities of Cattle Ownership

  1. Identify and implement what you are legally required to do for cattle identification and movement. 
  2. Understand the importance of animal welfare and its impact on cattle health and productivity
  3. Develop biosecurity plans and practices to prevent the introduction and spread of diseases and pests 
  4. Be equipped to deal with or recover from natural disasters such as bushfires, floods and droughts


Module 4 – Handling & Transporting Cattle

  1. Understand how farm and cattle yard layouts support optimal cattle productivity, health, and welfare, considering factors like movement patterns and access to essentials
  2. Learn the importance of controlled access points and pathways for efficient cattle movement, separation, and stress reduction
  3. Discover the role of suitable materials, strength, and location of infrastructure to contain cattle
  4. Prioritise animal well-being by learning how to handle your stock safely and calmly and preparing them for transport
  5. Transport cattle safely using practical techniques for handling, loading and taking rest breaks


Module 5 – Herd Health & Genetics

  1. Understand that both management, health and genetics contribute to productivity
  2. Comprehend the annual calendar of operations for efficient use of resources
  3. Be aware that there are essential tasks for routine husbandry and cattle health
  4. Be alert to the importance of monitoring stock health and welfare and acting quickly if there is a problem
  5. Notify the Animal Disease Watch hotline about unusual or emergency disease


Module 6 – Managing the herd – Making Decisions & Managing Money

  1. Understand the different pathways to market when selling your cattle
  2. Explore the different types of cattle operations and the pros and cons of each
  3. Calculate your cost of production and gross margin and recognise cost inputs for a profitable enterprise
  4. Understand that seasonal changes affect pasture growth and be aware of the measures you need to take at specific times
  5. Prepare to respond to and recover from an extreme climatic event such as drought, bushfire or flood to safeguard your operation
  6. Be aware of the many applications of AgTech that can save you labour, time and money


Sign up for this course today!