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Frequently asked questions

How is U.S. CattleTrace governed?

The U.S. CattleTrace partners have adopted the current structure of the legacy CattleTrace organization with the private entity and producer Board of Directors. As the program evolves, the structure will change to reflect the geographic diversity of the partners and participants.

What is the goal of U.S. CattleTrace?

The goal is to develop a national infrastructure for disease traceability and encourage private industry’s use of the infrastructure for individualized management practices.

If I choose to participate in this voluntary program, what will this cost my operation?

Cow-calf producers are not required to have an EID reader, but the ask is to tag their calves before they leave the operation. At this time, producers can contact a technology partner to inquire about UHF tags and costs for their operations. Auction markets, stockers, backgrounders, feedyards and processors can contact us to learn more.

What are the benefits of participating?

Proactive participation in U.S. CattleTrace enables you to be at the forefront of this industry-driven initiative and influence the future of an expanded traceability system in the U.S. beef cattle industry. The purpose-built infrastructure of this system has the potential to add value to your operation, including but not limited to: inventory management, animal health management, operational efficiencies, and enhanced domestic and international trade. For additional information regarding value-add opportunities, we can connect you with our partners.

If I choose to participate in this voluntary program, how do I know my data is secure?

The data collected will be managed by U.S. CattleTrace and will be stored on the secure U.S. CattleTrace third party database.

How is U.S. CattleTrace funded?

The legacy CattleTrace pilot, Florida traceability pilot and Texas traceability pilot were funded by both public and private funds. As we shift into Phase Two, the transition phase to a fully operational organization (Phase Three), we anticipate public and private funds will be utilized. Long term funding options are being discussed at this time.

What technology will be used for this project?

Since many RFID technologies are in use today in the cattle industry, U.S. CattleTrace actively works with producers to accept disease traceability data in a standardized electronic format from the available technologies. The goal for U.S. CattleTrace is to build a contact tracing system for animal disease traceability that operates at the speed of commerce.

Who is involved?

To address this industry-wide priority, a collaborative partnership among multiple state cattlemen’s organizations, public and private organizations was established. See the full partners list on the “Our Partners” page.

Who manages the data?

U.S. CattleTrace Inc. is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization with a producer board of directors. The transition to a fully operational company includes plans for membership, so the data management will be overseen by the board with direction from the membership.

How do I participate or become a partner?

Contact us at or 785-456-8472, or reach out to your state’s cattlemen’s organization to see if they are a partner of U.S. CattleTrace.

Additional Resources

World Perspectives, Inc Report

Results of the feasibility study commissioned by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association to understand the economic opportunity of opening  markets and the lost opportunity in the event of an animal disease outbreak.

USDA Animal
Disease Traceability

Animal Disease Traceability resources, including the ADT rule, standards and compliance guidelines, and the list of approved ID devices