WAMEGO, KS - U.S. CattleTrace, the industry-driven initiative for animal disease traceability, today announced the appointment of leadership for their producer Board of Directors. Brandon Depenbusch of Innovative Livestock Services will continue as Chairman of the Board, with Ken Griner of Usher Land & Timber being appointed to serve as Chairman-Elect. Wes Killion of Beef Northwest was also appointed to the position of Treasurer.
Brandon Depenbusch has served as Innovative Livestock Services Vice President of Cattle Operations since 2009. In that time, he has initiated positive change in the organization’s operations through research and development as well as implementing technologies such as RFID. Depenbusch currently serves on the Kansas Animal Health Board as well as being actively involved in the Kansas Livestock Association.
“It has been a true honor to have served as Chairman of the U.S. CattleTrace Board of Directors,” said Depenbusch. “From our inception as a pilot project to our transition to an independent organization, U.S. CattleTrace has made great strides in creating a voluntary contact tracing system that will protect the U.S. cattle supply. Through this next term, I look forward to working with my outstanding fellow Board members to launch new programs and craft new partnerships across the industry.”
A Florida native, Ken Griner is currently President of Usher Land & Timber, a family-owned logging, farming, and cattle company in Chiefland. Griner served as Florida Cattlemen’s Association President in 2017 and is active in Florida Farm Bureau.
“Along with its toll on human health and behavior, COVID-19 has demonstrated just what a devastating impact disease can have,” Griner said. “It has made me even more aware of just how critical it is for us to improve our current traceability system. We must be able to respond quickly. It is an honor to serve with such passionate and dedicated people as we work together to achieve animal disease traceability."
U.S. CattleTrace Executive Director Callahan Grund said that setting the foundation for the organization has been critical to their early success. “I am grateful for the strong leadership, vision and passion that Brandon has provided us, and I am thrilled to continue working with him for the upcoming year. Equally, I am excited to work with Ken in his position this upcoming year and look forward to his perspective and strategic vision that will benefit us into the future.”
About U.S. CattleTrace:
In August 2018, CattleTrace Inc. was formally established as a private, not-for-profit corporation to securely maintain and manage the data collected as part of the disease traceability pilot project. A board of directors with representatives from cow-calf, livestock market and cattle feeding sectors was named to lead CattleTrace Inc. In January 2020, the board voted to change the name to U.S. CattleTrace Inc. to formally establish the multi-state initiative to advance disease traceability. To learn more about U.S. CattleTrace or receive information on how to participate, visit www.uscattletrace.org.