Uses of Electronic ID to Improve Meat Animal Management

Livestock ID systems to be demonstrated March.

Published on: Jan 24, 2008

Recent technology in electronic livestock identification systems will be discussed and demonstrated on Saturday, March 8, at the Public Events Building, Arlington Agricultural Research Station, N695 Hopkins Rd., Arlington. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the program will conclude at 4 p.m.

Electronic identification of individual animals with radio frequency identification devices such as RFID ear tags allows tracking of food animals through the production chain from birth to consumption. This is important to both consumers and livestock producers in case of a serious disease outbreak.

However, RFID technology also can be used on the farm to improve animal well-being and efficiency of animal management.

The purpose of this meeting is to identify and demonstrate practical uses of RFID technology on the farm that can result in improved animal management. The program will be geared toward producers of beef cattle, swine, sheep, and goats, but the technology also can be used by dairy cattle, horse, and other livestock producers.

The morning program will consist of two presentations: one by Dr. Dan Buskirk, Extension Beef Cattle Specialist at Michigan State University, on the "Use of RFID Technology in Beef Cattle Production" and a second presentation on "National Efforts in Electronic Animal Identification" by a speaker yet to be confirmed. In the afternoon, representatives of several U.S. and Canadian animal RFID companies will demonstrate the uses of their equipment and software for meat animal management. Participants will see this equipment used "in action" with live beef cattle, sheep, and pigs.

There is no cost to register for the program. A free lunch will be served to those that have pre-registered by contacting Dave Thomas at 608-263-4306 or dlthomas@wisc.edu by March 3. Some additional free lunches may be available to those that have not pre-registered so plan to attend even if you have not pre-registered. If needed, several fast-food restaurants are located near-by.

This program is sponsored by the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium, Cooperative Extension of University of Wisconsin-Extension, and the Department of Animal Sciences of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Contact Dave Thomas at Department of Animal Sciences, 1675 Observatory Dr., Madison, WI 53706 (dlthomas@wisc.edu, 608-263-4306) for more information.