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“The reality of it is, we need a traceability program for our consumers so that we can give them what they want. We don’t dictate what they want, they dictate to us and we need to meet their demands.”
—Joe Leathers



The amount of data entered for an EID tag, as a commercial operator, a register operator or a stocker operator—it’s unlimited.

In 2011 and 2012, the Four SixesTM Ranch began using electronic identification when their cows had to be moved across state lines due to drought. The individual IDs helped to enhance the management of cows across several states in many different ways and the practice was adopted into the regular management practices.

Ranch Manager Joe Leathers co-chaired the Producer Traceability Council, which Leathers described as an opportunity to assist in developing the program and to represent the cattlemen to create a logical program.

“Ultra-high-frequency right now is probably the most advanced technology that we have available to us. It’s more or less hands-free and you can read groups of cattle as they’re commingled and you don’t have to run them back down a chute and single-file them in order to get a read,” Leathers explained.

On the Four Sixes, that kind of traceability ID is a management tool that pays for itself, but consumer demand is the main driver in adding value. One added benefit to using EIDs, is offering the public assurance through the Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) program.

EIDs allow producers to reduce stress on cattle, reduce labor costs and reduce overhead. Other benefits include tracking cattle location and shipping information, calf feedlot performance, and managing herds including depreciation, culls, replacements, breeding records, etc. Trackable data includes individual or whole pens of feed yard and carcass grading performance, and producers are able to generate reports for potential buyers. After finding a sire group that increases the percent of Prime carcasses, Leathers adjusted the sire selection to create more of the best to highlight in those reports.

U.S.-produced beef sets the world standard for quality, and the industry makes use of production technology.

Mr. Joe Leathers – Developing Traceability from a Common Sense & Business Perspective
Angus TV — The Capability of Traceability

Joe Leathers, General Manager of Texas-based Four Sixes Ranch and co-chair of the Producer Traceability Council, talks about the need and opportunities surrounding the federal disease traceability program now in development. This video news is provided by Certified Angus Beef LLC and the American Angus Association. Visit www.CABcattle.com or www.angus.org for more information.

US CattleTrace — CattleTrace Conversations Featuring Joe Leathers

A member of the U.S. CattleTrace Board of Directors and a Texas Animal Health Commissioner, Joe Leathers is always willing to share his knowledge of animal disease traceability in order to help members of the beef cattle industry maintain a traceability practice that works for them.

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