USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach was in
Great Bend last week for a meeting with collaborators and stakeholders of the
CattleTrace pilot project for disease traceability. USDA is a partner in the
project, which will test an end-to-end cattle traceability system in Kansas.
CattleTrace Board Chairman Brandon Depenbusch told Ibach and more than 40
ranchers, livestock auction owners, cattle feeders, packers and partners that
more than 31,500 tags have been distributed through the program. That
represents a portion of the 55,000 total ultra-high frequency tags to be
distributed as part of the two-year pilot. Depenbusch said tag readers have
been installed at all partner livestock markets and feedyards.
As tagged cattle move through the supply chain, the minimal data necessary for
disease traceability will be captured and maintained by a secure, third party
database. The data will be used by CattleTrace organizers to conduct mock
tracebacks testing the infrastructure’s effectiveness.
USDA outlined overarching goals for advancing animal disease traceability in
September. Each of USDA’s goals aligns with the basic framework and
implementation protocol of the CattleTrace pilot project.
CattleTrace is a public-private partnership including KLA, Kansas State University, the Kansas Department of Agriculture, USDA and private sector individuals from the cattle and beef supply chain.