Accurate records key to livestock age-source verification

BISMARCK — With calving season well underway, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring is encouraging livestock producers to consider age and source verification through the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA).

“Signing up for North Dakota Verified Livestock is easy and completely voluntary,” Goehring said. “Producers are finding that this program is an efficient and effective means of adding value to their livestock through age and source verification.”

Goehring said more than 37,000 head of cattle have been enrolled in the first 18 months of the new program.

“The first step in enrolling in the program is keeping accurate calving records,” he said. “Accurate age and source records are needed to verified livestock for export to countries such as South Korea and Japan. These imports must come through a USDA-approved, age and source verification program, like North Dakota Verified Livestock.”

Producers pay $3 per head for radio frequency identification (RFID) tags or $4.05 per head for both RFID and visual eartags. Feedlot enrollment is $275 per year.

Goehring said substantial growth is expected in the Asian market demand for U.S. beef this year.

The age and source verification is provided by a private contractor, AgInfoLink, through its USDA-approved process verified program. NDDA will enroll, train and audit producers and feeding operations. AgInfoLink can also verify ranches for non-hormone treated cattle (NHTC) claims, and will soon offer natural and humane handling certification.

Producers interested in North Dakota Verified Livestock should contact, Jason Wirtz at NDDA at (701) 328-2216 or jwirtz@nd.gov for more information.