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Published April 03, 2010, 12:00 AM

Producers urged to verify

BISMARCK — North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says cattle producers can better take advantage of a growing export market for U.S. beef by enrolling in an age and source verification program.

BISMARCK — North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says cattle producers can better take advantage of a growing export market for U.S. beef by enrolling in an age and source verification program.

“The Asian market demand for U.S. beef imports is expected to grow 9 percent in 2010,” Goehring said. “These imports must come through a USDA-approved, age and source verification program to comply with the new regulations that have resulted from free trade negotiations.”

Goehring said Japan now requires beef imports to be from animals 21-months of age or younger, while South Korea and China require beef from cattle 30-months or younger.

“We would like to see the protocols be the same for all exports,” Goehring said.

Seventeen USDA-approved companies now offer verification programs to meet different management practices of cattle producers. They all require accurate record-keeping of either the first day of calving or individual calving dates. Calving books are recommended for keeping these records.”

“The Legislature has authorized the North Dakota Department of Agriculture to implement an age and source verification program to bolster the state’s efforts to expand trade with Korea,” Goehring said. “We are working with the livestock industry to develop a program that will address their needs and fully comply with the law. Simplification is our goal.”

Producers should contact Kadee Hande, a livestock development specialist with the Department of Agriculture, at 701-328-2354 or khande@nd.gov for more information.

“Producers can also contact the North Dakota Beef Improvement Association, their national breed associations or individual companies,” Goehring said.

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