Feed Lot

DEC 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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22 FEED•LOT December 2018 With blockchain, the source of contamination could be pinpoint- ed easily — no more long-lasting scares like the one earlier this year where consumers were told to avoid romaine lettuce for months. "With blockchain, we're able to solve problems that we never could solve before," Gopie said. The benefits of information sharing works both directions. "I could learn more about your The IBM brand isn't often as- sociated with the cattle business. But that may change, thanks to the tech giant's IBM Food Trust and its use of blockchain. That's just what it sounds like: blocks of in- formation that form a chain, linked via Internet to allow information sharing that is seamless, efficient and secure. Its primary application is be- tween partners across an industry striving to achieve improved trans- parency, traceability, sustainability — and ultimately even profitability. Nigel Gopie, marketing leader for the IBM initiative, told 200 cat- tlemen at the late-summer Feeding Quality Forum in Sioux City, Iowa, the system offers trust and trans- parency in places where it either doesn't exist or could be improved. "In the food industry, in particu- lar," Gopie said, "there are a lot of concerns about food safety, food fraud, sustainability, and others. We believe that, with blockchain, we can bring light to problems that have plagued us for centuries." Take food safety, for example. INDUSTRY & INNOVATION Blockchain Technology For Beef Acceptance and widespread use of blockchain in the cattle industry is in the infant stag- es right now, but the term is something that ranchers should start learning about. Major food manufacturers are taking no- tice, and Walmart will require blockchain use with certain food prod- ucts in 2019. A f t e r a food safety scare with romaine lettuce kept customers away from the leafy greens for an extended period of time, the food giant conducted multiple blockchain pilot proj- ects to see if the information chain could reduce the time it takes to identify the source of a food safety outbreak. The re- sults? Without blockchain, it took six days, 18 hours, and 26 minutes to trace mangoes back to its original farm. With blockchain – 22 seconds. That caught the retailer's attention in a big way. During a n o u t b r e a k o f d i s e a s e o r contamination, six days is an eter- nity. So by this time next year, Walmart and Sam's Club will ask suppliers of leafy greens like ro- maine lettuce and spinach to im- plement food traceability via block- chain technology. Does that mean super grocers like Walmart will be requesting the beef industry to do the same? It's hard to say. Tracking leafy greens from the field to the shelf is not as complex as a 1,200 pound steer that takes 18 months to reach the meat case. However as early as 2016, the giant retailer was working with officials in Beijing to track Chinese pork in pilot projects. Some Wyoming ranchers are banking on consumers' interest in the history of the meat on their plate, and they're investing in block- chain technology. Six multi-gener- ational Wyoming ranches have partnered to form BeefChain, ™ an effort to use blockchain technol- ogy to track cattle from the farm to the plate. These six ranches have tagged almost 1,600 calves that will be mar- keted as Wyoming Certified Beef in the fall of 2019. According to Beef- Chain's website, using blockchain technology has two objectives. First, it brings technology to the ranch- er in order to enhance traceabil- ity and prove humane handling. Second, it creates an end-to-end supply chain solution dubbed "Rancher to Retail" through Beef- Chain's investment in feedlot and processing operations. These operations will allow BeefChain to offer exclusive, long-term rela- tionships with buyers across the globe, ultimately offering their certified beef at a premium. Several notable individuals are involved in the project, including Wyoming state senator Ogden Driskill and state representative Tyler Lindholm, as well as part- nerships with the University of Wyoming and individuals with major food industry experience. Want a closer look? Visit www.beefchain.com BY KATRINA HUFFSTUTLER AND JILL J. DUNKEL Acceptance of Blockchain in the Food Industry

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