Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Agricultural & Extension Education

Committee Chair

Harry N. Boone

Committee Co-Chair

Deborah A. Boone

Committee Member

Deborah A. Boone

Committee Member

Alison M. Wilson

Committee Member

Matthew E. Wilson


This dissertation documents two separate works. The first is an evaluation of WVU SFMS/SOIDC Large Animal Module and the second is the development and use of the Stockman’s Scorecard. The WVU SFMS/SOIDC Large Animal Module provides foundational information on food animal husbandry and veterinary procedures to SOF Combat Medic candidates. A quasi-experimental design was used to determine if the module content resulted in an increase in food animal production knowledge for the participants. Seventy-five percent of the subjects had no previous livestock exposure and only seven percent had previously participated in 4-H or FFA. Matched pair analysis determined that the average improvement of scores, pre-test versus post-test, was significantly greater for those that attended the module (18.5 vs. 0.9). Knowledge of food animal production can assist SOF medics in establishing rapport with indigenous population while on mission.

An animal’s action, or inaction, is the direct result of a stockman’s action or inaction. The Stockman’s Scorecard is a novel observation instrument that has been developed to measure the quality of beef cattle stockmanship. Specific handler actions have been weighted based on their perceived negative relationship to cattle stress from handling. The purpose of Chapters II and III of this paper is to 1) establish the validity and reliability of the Stockman’s Scorecard as a tool for the quantitative measurement of beef cattle stockmanship, 2) document the initial use of the scorecard in a beef cattle feedlot setting, and 3) provide further support to its validity by establishing an association with other quantitative and qualitative means of evaluating stockmanship. Face validity for the scorecard was established by a panel of experts. Reliability was determined by pilot testing at three Mid-West feedlot facilities. Trained observers evaluated 19 stockmen using the card and their scores were analyzed using a split-half methodology to calculate a Spearman-Brown coefficient. The instrument constructs were found to be exemplary (Robinson, Shaver, & Wrightsman, 1991) with a coefficient of 0.76 exceeding the threshold of 0.30 for inter-item correlations. To determine the intra-rater reliability, three observers were shown six videos of individuals moving a group of steers from their home pen to the working chute. The observers scored each handler using the scorecard and final scores were used to calculate an intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) using SPSS (v 25). The observers exhibited a high level of agreement with and ICC = 0.66 which can be classified as good intra-rater reliability. The Scorecard was used at 45 beef feedlots in Texas between March 2018 and April 2019. Eighty-four stockman were observed, and the average score received was an 84.5 (Std Dev = 14.73, range = 20-100). The most frequent mistakes observed were: fills crowd pen/tub over half full (n=39), slow to remove pressure (n=29), uses unnecessary noise (n=25), stands in front and taps rear (n=24), and fails to regulate animal flow through a pinch point (n=22).

A strong negative association (ρ = -0.51) was found between the points deducted from the Noise and Physical Contact theme of the Scorecard and the number of animals touched with an electric prod from the BQA Feedyard Assessment. Moderate negative associations were found between the Scorecard final score and the number of animals that vocalize in the chute prior to procedures (ρ = -0.31). Those stockmen that scored above average on the Scorecard were qualitatively observed to be calm and quiet while working with the cattle (Kappa = 0.44). The qualitative disposition of cattle had little effect on the final score of stockmen using the Scorecard (Kappa = 0.17). The use of the Scorecard in a feedlot setting has demonstrated that as stockman scores decrease, there is an increase in the number of negative actions towards cattle and a negative behavioral response of the cattle themselves. Establishment of an association between a stockman’s score using the Stockman’s Scorecard and the animal-based observations from the BQA Feedyard Assessment further strengthens the validity of the Stockman’s Scorecard as a tool to measure the quality of beef cattle stockmanship. The Scorecard has application as a tool to identify specific stockmanship deficiencies in order to target stockmanship training.

Embargo Reason

Publication Pending