November 16, 2006
Electronic Tag Identification Displayed at Action Summit
Beef cattle identification programs and methodology were discussed, displayed and tested during the Action Summit on Animal Identification on Nov. 6. The event was held on the Dickinson State University campus and featured presentations from federal and state agriculture agencies, beef organizations and educational institutions in North Dakota.
Nearly 150 people participated in the event. Participants represented beef producers, consumers, marketing organizations and retail outlets. Attendees were able to view live demonstrations by the North Dakota State University Dickinson Research Extension Center showing low- and high-frequency tags, animal tracking and biosecurity efforts.
NDSU-DREC and DSU have been involved in a collaborative research project for the past four years. Funding for the research was provided through the efforts of North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan, who hosted the summit. Kris Ringwall, NDSU-DREC director and Extension beef specialist, coordinated the afternoon demonstrations.
“Technology is changing rapidly relative to cattle identification,” Ringwall says. “Sen. Dorgan’s decision to host the summit gave us another opportunity to display the various technologies and discuss some of the challenges we face as we research and seek a system that will be uniform and meet the needs of producers and consumers.”
Ringwall’s research team established four educational stations at which benchmark data on animal identification research and methods were displayed and operational.
“Our goal is to engage the beef industry, from producers to consumers,” Ringwall says. “Our team has worked diligently with beef producers, feedlot owners, packers, tag companies, data collection professionals and others to develop safe, accurate and reliable methods to meet source- and age-verification goals.”
Demonstrations of high-frequency tags drew extensive comment from producers and livestock support businesses.
“We finished the day loading 60 calves with high-frequency tags onto a truck,” Ringwall said. “All 60 tags were read as the calves moved down the alleyway and onto the truck. This was an example of how the technology can work.”
Ringwall says the research project will continue. The DREC will continue to partner with the North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association, DSU, the beef industry and consumers to develop a system that meets the needs and expectations of producers and consumers.
“The ultimate outcome will be a healthy respect for our resources and lifestyles,” Ringwall says.
Individuals wanting more information can contact the DREC at 1086 State Ave., Dickinson, ND 58601 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The phone number is (701) 483-2348.