Guilford County government has purchased a lot of things over the years – however, at least as far as the Rhino Times is aware, this is the first time the county has purchased a cattle squeeze chute.

For the upcoming Thursday, Oct. 1 meeting, the Board of Commissioners’ agenda calls for the county to approve the purchase using $4,700 in grant money.

For those unfamiliar with cattle squeeze chutes, they are transportable devices that form narrow corridors that cattle and other animals can pass through. Chutes are often used to help herd animals or load them onto vehicles. The chute is narrow enough for the cattle or other animals to pass through but not narrow enough for them to turn around. It can be used for helping prepare animals for transport to say, the vet, or, in more grim cases, to send them to meet their maker – that is, to make them meat.

The chute purchase is on the commissioners’ “consent agenda,” which is a list of items that almost always get approved with no discussion. In this case, the county is using money from an AgVentures grant in the amount of $4,700 for the purchase by the Guilford County Cooperative Extension with the support of the Guilford County Cattlemen’s Association.  

NC AgVentures is a program from NC State University that provides grants for independent family farms across the state for “new and innovative agricultural project ideas which will increase farm profits.”

The chute will be shared by local cattle farmers who need it.

Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Jeff Phillips said he doesn’t know a lot about cattle chutes or this agenda item, but he said he had discussed it with Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing.  

Phillips noted that the chute is being purchased with grant money, not taxpayer money, and he said Lawing had informed him that there is a strong demand for chute use among smaller cattle ranchers in the county.