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K-State Today

July 2, 2018

Kansas announces Cattle Trace pilot program for disease traceability

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

K-State's Beef Cattle Institute, the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Kansas Livestock Association, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and individual producer stakeholders have partnered to create Cattle Trace, a pilot project that will develop and test a purpose-built cattle disease traceability infrastructure in Kansas. 

Gov. Jeff Colyer and Secretary Jackie McClaskey joined leaders from the Kansas livestock industry June 30 at Barton County Feeders in Ellinwood to announce the project.

"Kansas is home to the finest beef producers and operations in the nation," Colyer said. "We are proud that the Kansas beef industry has taken the lead in this important project that will enhance our ability to protect cattle health here and across the nation."

Cattle Trace will guide discussion and development of traceability on a national scale. The project will utilize ultrahigh frequency technologies to collect the minimal data necessary, including an individual animal identification number, a GPS location, and date and time, to track animals in the event of a disease outbreak. 

Brad White, director of K-State's Beef Cattle Institute, is a leader in the project. 

"We know for a traceability system to be effective, it needs to be simple, fast, and affordable to make its adoption within the industry as seamless as possible," White said. "We are working to build a system to test today and one that will serve the U.S. beef cattle industry in the future."

Read more about the Cattle Trace project