The president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association says in states where premises identification is not mandatory, enrollment has been painfully slow in establishing what will eventually become a national age, process and source verification system.
This, despite the fact many producers may already have the information needed for animal certification. "A very small percentage of producers have actually received a premises number," says 2006 NCBA President Mike John. "I don't know why that is. Every state has access to a Web-based premises allocation system. If people are worried about the government having access to that information, it already does."
A cow-calf producer from Hunstville, Mo., John says all a person has to do now to access their or another's address off the Internet is "type the phone number into Google to get a map to your house in seconds." He says establishing a national identification program will be "just putting a number on your geographic reference point. That is the first step in the whole animal ID process."
To date Wisconsin and North Carolina are the only states that require mandatory registration of cattle on the premises. Indiana will require it Sept. 1. Texas, the nation's leading beef-cattle state, continues to postpone its decision on whether to launch a mandatory program.
John says he already has his premises ID number and anyone who plans on being in the cattle business in the future ought to get theirs because "â€¦ you're just getting ready for the changes that are happening in the industry."