Rick Young, brand ambassador for YoungStar, has a remarkable 25-year history in the Australian livestock and meat industries. In a recent video, he discussed the critical, yet often overlooked issue within the sector – cattle and worker safety while working on concrete surfaces. The urgency to address this issue has paved the way for an innovative solution: The YoungStar Mat.
The Issue: A Slippery Problem
In his discussion, Rick outlines the challenges presented by traditional flooring solutions in cattle handling facilities. The bovine foot wall, which is merely 3-7 millimetres thick, is highly susceptible to damage when cattle slide on concrete surfaces. Not only does this disrupt the wall, potentially enabling bacterial infections, but it also significantly increases the risk of injury – for both the cattle and the handlers. The cascading consequences, from health to welfare and staffing issues, have highlighted the desperate need for a practical solution to mitigate these risks.
A Tailored Solution: Developing the YoungStar Mat
Addressing such concerns, the YoungStar Mat emerged from rigorous research and development conducted by NumatAGRI in conjunction with industry partners. Rick emphasizes five critical attributes that were integral in formulating this product:
- Durability: The rubber material needed to withstand the test of time and usage.
- Slip Resistance: It was crucial to create a surface that prevents cattle from slipping.
- Ease of Installation: Ensuring the mat could be readily and conveniently installed.
- Transportability: It needed to be easy to transport and manage.
- Cost-efficiency: The product had to offer significant value for investment.
Remarkably, these mats have been crafted with a keen understanding of the unique demands and challenges of the Australian beef industry, and thus, precisely tailor to the needs of beef producers.
The YoungStar Mat has seen a swift and widespread adoption across various facilities within Australia and beyond, including induction sheds, feedlots, trucking areas, abattoirs, live export facilities, and saleyards. It’s not merely a product; it’s a versatile solution that suits multiple aspects of the livestock handling and management process, ensuring safer surfaces for cattle and people alike.
Exceeding Expectations: The Impact of the YoungStar Mat
The reception of the YoungStar Mat has been overwhelmingly positive. Not only is it in high demand across various applications in the industry, but it has also notably met – and seemingly exceeded – expectations over time. Rick expresses that it aids in enhancing cattle performance, implying benefits not just in safety, but potentially in production too.
The introduction of the YoungStar Mat to the Australian beef industry is not merely an advancement in floor technology; it represents a pivotal step towards enhanced welfare for cattle and improved safety for workers. Innovations like this, forged from extensive industry experience and meticulous development, are vital in paving the way for a more sustainable, ethical, and prosperous future for the livestock industry.