HARRISBURG (Jan. 15) – In cooperation with the PA Department of Agriculture, the Center for Beef Excellence (CBE) announced the launch of its RFID Cattle ID Program at the 97th Annual PA Farm Show. During the event, PA Department of Agriculture Secretary Greig recognized Erdenheim Farm for its participation in the program.
In the proclamation presented by Secretary Greig, it said: “For their dedication to the future of agriculture in Pennsylvania, the farm’s participation in the Center for Beef Excellence’s RFID Cattle ID Program shows their commitment to implementing innovative measures.”
The RFID program at Erdenheim Farm is an example of how cattle can be traced for consumers and producers. Erdenheim Farm manager, Phil McMahon, direct markets the beef products through the farm market located on the farm. Programs like this will help bridge the gap between farm and fork, producer and consumer.
This new, voluntary effort serves the needs of two groups: producers and consumers. It is designed to benefit producers by complying with traceability needs for marketing, animal health programs and on-farm management, as well as coinciding with record-keeping systems and technology already in place. Consumers continue to seek information on where their food comes from, and this program fills that need. It is designed to serve as a symbol of producer commitment to producing a quality product and promotes the same values producers uphold in their own family and livestock operations. Ideally, if some consumers are willing to pay more for products identified this way, that value will be passed back to the producer because of the trusted superior quality it represents. Further, identifying individual or animal groups protects both producer and consumer interests by improving traceability in the instance of a disease outbreak.
The RFID tags are now available free of charge (small shipping fee not included) through CBE by visiting the website at www.beefexcellence.com. A premises identification (ID) is required to receive the free tags. Herd records must be maintained in addition to the request. These records must be maintained by the producer for five years. For more information on the program please contact the Center for Beef Excellence, Ann Nogan, 570-687-3150 or visit the website.
The Center for Beef Excellence was established in 2007 to promote the beef industry through education, production efficiency, government and community relations, and economic development. Representing 28,000 beef producers in Pennsylvania with 1.61 million head of cattle, the industry generates over $2 billion in economic impact yearly in the Commonwealth. The Center for Beef Excellence is an equal opportunity provider.