The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Service (APHIS) is announcing the funding to support animal disease traceability (ADT) and electronic identification for cattle. The money will fund 3 of the 11 projects submitted with each coordinated by state organizations. The 3 to be funded are the Florida Cattleman’s Association, Texas Animal Health Association and The University of Wisconsin at Madison which will jointly help USDA increase the accuracy, efficiency, and cost effectiveness of collecting key pieces of traceability information, while supporting the cattle industry’s management and marketing needs. These projects will document how to link ultrahigh frequency (UHF) Backtags with other identification devices to collect animal movement and disease data while still maintaining the speed of commerce. We need to learn more about how adding RFID functionality will support traceability in these high-volume, fast-paced environments. The projects will gather important real-world data to help USDA; States, Tribes and industry advance animal disease traceability and implement electronic ID.

ADT helps health officials know where diseased and at-risk animals are, where they’ve been, and when. This helps ensure a rapid response during disease events, which can reduce the number of animals and the response time, ultimately reducing the economic impact on owners and affected communities.

Locally the University of Wisconsin and Dr. Guilherme Rosa will be collaborating with Robert Kleemeier of I.D.ology on the “Wisconsin Cooperative Beef Traceability Project” to document the ability of UHF RFID Backtags to efficiently gather and provide the necessary data to advance traceability and benefit the livestock industry. The Project will capture movement data via the Blockchain technology of “BeefChain” at the speed of commerce and show how it can be stored and shared for traceability purposes without compromising private personal data.