Kansas is among the nation’s leaders in the beef industry. One factor that makes the beef supply chain so strong in Kansas is that every segment exists here. An important partner in the industry is our agricultural lenders. As the beef industry, in collaboration with K-State, the Kansas Department of Agriculture and USDA, develops a national system for animal disease traceability, we wanted to update the High Plains Farm Credit members.

1. What is CattleTrace

CattleTrace was launched with three main objectives:  to develop a purpose-built infrastructure for disease traceability; to test the infrastructure; and to evaluate its economics.

CattleTrace is focused entirely on disease traceability, only collecting the minimal data necessary. This includes the individual animal identification number, the GPS location of the reader, and the date and time. We are using ultra-high frequency RFID technology that allows movement data to be captured as calves move naturally through the supply chain.

2. How is data privacy managed?

CattleTrace, Inc., was established to own the secure, third-party database. A producer-driven board of directors was named to set policy related to data privacy.

3. Why is this a priority?

Disease traceability is a key component in the overall biosecurity of the beef industry, playing an important role in resuming and maintaining commerce in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak. When exports add more than $300 per-head value, as they do today, it is critical to protect our ability to sell beef around the globe.

4. What’s the value in CattleTrace?

Traceability is not a new concept. There is regulation for disease traceability in the U.S that affects cattle over 18 months of age that move interstate. The lack of a disease traceability infrastructure for feeder calves leaves Kansas vulnerable to a disease situation. The CattleTrace infrastructure will serve as an important insurance tool — enhancing the ability to conduct more targeted searches and identify diseased or at-risk animals more quickly.

To sign up for the newsletter or learn more, visit www.CattleTrace.org.

Rob DeWeese
Chief Lending Officer