Cattle groups work together on traceability at NIAA Strategy Forum

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and National Institute for Animal Agriculture have often worked together on issues that impact the beef industry,” says Jennifer Houston, 2018 NCBA president-elect and opening speaker at the 2018 NIAA Strategy Forum on Livestock Traceability to be held in Kansas City, Missouri, at the end of this month.

We think it is important to reach out to other people in the industry,” she says. “Both organizations are contractors to the Beef Checkoff, so issues that are of interest to the industry, such as disease traceability and antimicrobial resistance, merit the support of associations such as ours.”

From NCBA’s perspective traceability is an important part of our future. “Of course, we already have the mandatory Animal Disease Traceability program, but the question is what else can traceability do for the industry, and what steps should we be taking next?

“Traceability is an important issue that is already on the minds of many industry stakeholders, said Houston. “While opinions differ on what comes next, we can all agree that there are many unanswered questions and we need to begin putting the pieces together and identifying solutions that will work for all of us.”

A study, conducted by World Perspectives, Inc., showed a number of questions remains in the minds of stakeholders, including important questions about data ownership and liability issues. “We have to find the answers to these questions,” she says. “Working together with NIAA and other groups to accomplish this makes sense.”

The NIAA Strategy Forum will feature a wide variety of speakers to address traceability from several different viewpoints, on different issues and feature feedback from industry groups. One highlight she is looking forward to is the report by the Cattle Traceability Working Group, which was developed from work done at the 2017 Forum.

“We just need to keep looking to the future on how we improve the disease traceability system that we have now, and how we continue to improve,” Houston said. “The NIAA Strategy Forum on Livestock Traceability has speakers that will help us focus on that.”

The 2018 NIAA Strategy Forum on Livestock Traceability will be held in Kansas City, Missouri at the Westin Kansas City at Crown Center, Sept. 24 to 26 and will feature reports from the USDA traceability team and the Cattle Traceability Working Group, as well as a Technology Showcase with the most current technology, products and services focused on cattle traceability.

Register now at