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Published August 31, 2010, 11:03 AM

Goehring announces age/source beef verification program

BISMARCK—A new, voluntary program to help market North Dakota beef domestically and abroad was unveiled Tuesday.

By: Forum Communications Co. Report, The Dickinson Press

BISMARCK—A new, voluntary program to help market North Dakota beef domestically and abroad was unveiled today.

North Dakota Verified Livestock allows livestock producers and feeding operations to verify the age and source of their animals, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said in a statement. This information is required by beef importing countries, such as South Korea and Japan.

The program was authorized by the Legislature. Rather than build a new program, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture opted for a five-year contract with AgInfoLink, a federally-licensed, Colorado-based company with experience with similar programs in other states, Goehring said.

The age and source verification will be provided through AgInfoLink’s USDA-approved Process Verified Program, he said. The department will enroll, train and audit producers and feeding operations.

Goehring said there is still time for producers to enroll in the program and be able to market this year’s calf crop as age/source verified.

“Signing up for the new program is easy and completely voluntary,” Goehring said in a statement. “We are encouraging producers to contact the department to learn more about this opportunity.”

North Dakota Verified Livestock will be identified by specially designed tags manufactured by AllFlex USA.

The cost of the program for producers is $2.75 per radio frequency identification tag or $4.05 per head for both RFID and visual ear tags. Feedlot enrollment is $275 per year.

Goehring said the age/source records of 10 percent of the enrolled producers and all enrolled feeding operations will be audited annually for accuracy and program compliance.

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