U.S. CattleTrace advances cattle disease traceability

Cattle disease traceability pilot programs have joined forces under the new name U.S. CattleTrace.

P.J. Griekspoor, Editor

January 28, 2020

3 Min Read
fencing with cattle inside the pen
ADVANCING: CattleTrace has joined forces with other animal disease traceability pilot programs to form a single organization. The goal is to get a single technology for traceability across all partners in the industry.

The cattle disease traceability program that began as CattleTrace has a new name, new partners and a refined set of governing principles.

The organization, which already had membership from multiple state cattlemen’s organization from major beef producing regions, including the Kansas Livestock Association, has added Texas Cattle Feeders, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers, Florida Cattlemen’s and Kentucky Cattlemen’s organization, and it has adopted the new name, U.S. CattleTrace.

Texas and Florida had been working on their own pilot programs at the same time that Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Oregon and Washington were developing their pilot. All the efforts will now be combined into one program, with the entire group moving the industry forward to using one technology, according to Cassie Kniebel, U.S. CattleTrace program manager.

“This partnership expands our reach and will be instrumental in educating producers and growing the network across the country,” Kniebel says. “We hope other states will join as well to build on this momentum.”

The goal of U.S. CattleTrace is to develop a national infrastructure for disease traceability and convince private industry to use that infrastructure for their individual management practices.

Kniebel said the entire group is focused on moving the industry to using one technology, with a transition time set for the end of December 2023 for UHF technology.

Brandon Depenbusch, CattleTrace board chairman, says the partnership will be a catalyst to build upon the CattleTrace foundation that has been established over the past few years.

Leaders from each of the partner organizations have agreed to a set of guiding principles for U.S. CattleTrace, according to a press release from the organization. Those principles are:

Traceability now. In order to protect the producers’ share of the protein market from the potential impact of a disease event, cattle identification and traceability needs to be enacted, enhanced and further developed using electronic ID and electronic transfer of data.

System development. U.S. CattleTrace is focused on developing a voluntary national traceability system to include all cattle and complement the current USDA regulations.

National significance. The goal is to build a system that is recognized as nationally significant to all domestic and foreign markets.

Industry-driven. The U.S. CattleTrace disease traceability system strives to be equitable to all industry segments and must be industry-driven and managed by a producer board of directors to ensure data privacy and protection.

Standardized system. U.S. CattleTrace supports the use of one technology for a U.S. cattle industry disease traceability system to maximize the value of technology investment. Since multiple RFID technologies are in use today, U.S. CattleTrace will accept data in a standardized electronic format from available technologies but supports a transition to ultra-high frequency technology by Dec. 31, 2023.

For more information about U.S. CattleTrace, including details on how to get involved, visit uscattletrace.org.

In late August 2018, CattleTrace Inc. was formally established as a private, not-for-profit corporation to securely maintain and manage the data collected as part of the disease traceability pilot project. A board of directors with representatives from cow-calf, livestock market and cattle feeding sectors was named to lead CattleTrace Inc.

In January 2020, the board voted to change the name to U.S. CattleTrace Inc. to formally establish the multi-state initiative to advance disease traceability.  

This article contains content supplied by U.S. CattleTrace.

About the Author(s)

P.J. Griekspoor

Editor, Kansas Farmer

Phyllis Jacobs "P.J." Griekspoor, editor of Kansas Farmer, joined Farm Progress in 2008 after 18 years with the Wichita Eagle as a metro editor, page designer, copy desk chief and reporter, covering agriculture and agribusiness, oil and gas, biofuels and the bioeconomy, transportation, small business, military affairs, weather, and general aviation.

She came to Wichita in 1990 from Fayetteville, N.C., where she was copy desk chief of the Fayetteville Observer for three years. She also worked at the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minn. (1980-87), the Mankato Free Press in Mankato, Minn. (1972-80) and the Kirksville Daily Express in Kirksville, Mo. (1966-70).

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