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CattleTrace to Host First-Ever Industry Symposium
South Dakota Ag Connection - 10/10/2019

After nearly two years of planning, development and implementation of a cattle disease traceability infrastructure, CattleTrace is inviting all beef industry stakeholders to attend the first-ever CattleTrace Industry Symposium on Nov. 22 in Manhattan at the Kansas State University Student Union. This event is an opportunity for industry stakeholders to provide important feedback about CattleTrace while also continuing to chart the path forward for disease traceability in the beef industry.

Participants at the symposium will get a firsthand view of a mock trace demonstration, and a unique perspective of traceability in the UK, including Scotland's experience using UHF technology, in remarks provided by Dr. Andrew Moxey, ScotEID. There will also be a discussion of the economics of traceability and interactive breakout sessions designed to allow attendees to provide guidance and feedback about the future of disease traceability in the beef industry. The symposium is free, and the registration deadline is Nov. 7. The registration link and a more detailed agenda are available on the website at www.CattleTrace.org.

"We have said since the beginning that by participating and partnering in CattleTrace, you have a voice in what an expanded national traceability system can look like in the United States. Our partners at all production levels are the foundation of CattleTrace," said Brandon Depenbusch, CattleTrace board of directors chairman. "The CattleTrace Industry Symposium is our way of providing an opportunity for our partners and any interested industry stakeholders to share their ideas and opinions."

Launched in late June 2018, CattleTrace is being implemented by a cooperative public-private partnership including private industry, university and state and federal government sectors. While it started in Kansas, the program has expanded with partners in multiple states across the country. During the pilot period, approximately 90,000 calves in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and other states will be tagged with an ultra-high frequency ear tag. As the calves move through the supply chain, minimal data, including an individual animal identification number, GPS location of the readers, and the date and time, is captured and maintained in a secure, third-party database.

The CattleTrace team started to conduct mock traces in late summer 2019 to test the infrastructure and determine its effectiveness in tracing animal movements in the event of a disease outbreak. The CattleTrace Industry Symposium will be the first opportunity for beef industry stakeholders to get a glimpse of the database in action and see a demonstration of a mock trace.

"We are excited to host the symposium to demonstrate how the database would be used in the event of a disease outbreak and solicit feedback on specific policy decisions the CattleTrace Board will be making this year. This is the industry's opportunity to take action and determine what comes next on the topic of disease traceability," says Depenbusch.

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