Feed Lot

SEP-OCT 2018

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

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TRACEABILITY 8 FEED•LOT September/October 2018 beef producers and operations in the nation," said Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer at a June 30 unveiling of the project. "We are proud that the Kansas beef industry has taken the lead in this important project that will enhance our ability to pro - tect cattle health here and across the nation." Focused discussion with indus- try partners began in early 2018 , with the project ready to roll in what Teagarden calls "record time." Data collection will begin this fall and will continue for two years, with the ultimate goal of developing a nationwide program. For now, participation is voluntary. "The main hurdle all along has been finding a system that works for the way we market cattle," says Teagarden. "We need to run cows all across the country through var- ious regions, production models, and segments of the industry." BY TERRI QUECK-MATZIE Cattle disease traceability has been a hotly debated issue since the BSE scare of 2003. Authorities have claimed they need to be able to trace any future disease outbreak to its origins. Cattlemen have asserted their trademark independence. Now, a pilot project in Kansas seems to be bridging that gap. Cattle Trace, a public-private partnership of the state's beef in- dustry players, uses ultra-high fre- quency technology and minimal data to follow an animal from end to end of the production system should the need arise. Cattle movement will be tracked using high frequency readers in- stalled at livestock auctions, feed yards and processors. High fre- quency tags provide the ID number while software supporting the sys- tem records the date, time and GPS location of the movement. "This system answers one of the problems we have had in the past – the ability to track cattle at the speed of commerce," says Matt Teagarden, CEO of the Kansas Livestock Association. "We need- ed a hands-off system that did not require additional cattle handling, and that could read an alley or a truckload of cattle at a time." KLA is one of the participants in the project, along with Kansas State University, the Kansas Department of Agriculture, USDA, and individu- al producer stakeholders, including at least 10 feedyards. Teagarden says KLA members are ready. "We've had a policy supporting enhancing traceability for a num- ber of years," he explains. "And it is mentioned multiple times in the Beef Industry Long Range Plan." At its annual meeting last Decem- ber, KLA members endorsed creat- ing a better system, and requested it be mandatory for all cattle. "Obviously, it has been a concern for some time, but the mandatory approach is not typical for KLA where we generally advocate for letting the market drive things. For our members to request this is reflective of their desire to move forward with disease traceability." Teagarden says Kansas, with its representation of all segments of the beef industry, is the perfect testing ground for Cattle Trace. Statewide exercises in disease response have further emphasized the need for such a system. "Kansas is home to the finest FEEDLOT FOCUS Pilot Project Tests the Waters on Disease Traceability TRACEABILITY OPTIONS ON THE MINDS OF CATTLEMEN

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