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Laura Dahl, Director
P.O. Box 430, Goodwell, Oklahoma 73939
Phone: 580-349-1354 * Fax: 580-349-1350
Email: lola@opsu.edu

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**For Immediate Release**
Grant Funds New Ag Technology
-released by OPSU Campus Communications 09-22-05
by Laura Dahl

Oklahoma Panhandle State University has been awarded an economic development grant from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education totaling over $116,000 to fund research for radio frequency identification (RFID) cattle tagging products. Primary goals include educating Oklahoma producers about the need for animal identification and encouraging them to obtain premises identification numbers for their farms and ranches. OPSU will also offer training in proper use of RFID systems and will provide research to help determine the product that best suits the needs of each operation.

All producers and those operating cattle consignment businesses will be encouraged to learn the importance of a National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Currently, RFID tag use is voluntary, and cattle producers utilizing the technology reap a premium when tagged cattle are sold; however, the United States Department of Agriculture recently announced plans to make animal tracking mandatory. OPSU will arm Oklahoma producers with essential information they need to comply with the law as well as learn to use the tags as a management tool.

During the research phase, OPSU will purchase ear tags from the top four manufacturers in order to compare durability, ease of use, and cost effectiveness. The tags will be provided for the cattle producers participating in the study. Producers will also receive instruction on how to insert and read the tags. Personnel conducting the study will travel to the producer’s site with all necessary equipment to tag the animals.

OPSU has partnered with major cattle producers in the Oklahoma Panhandle as well as some in the Cushing, Stillwater, and Altus areas. The state-wide effort will provide comprehensive information about how well the tags function in a variety of grazing and confined operations and climactic conditions. Once the research is complete, all data collected will be shared with local, state, and regional entities and businesses.

The project will also provide invaluable hands-on experience for OPSU students. They will learn how to implement and operate an animal identification program, knowledge they can use in setting up a system for a producer or operating their own business.

Texas County, which is ranked first in Oklahoma in cattle and calf production, is an ideal location for this research. OPSU is dedicated to providing cattle producers in both the local area and state-wide with timely, practical, and easily accessible information they can use to enhance their business. If you would like more information about participating in the study, please telephone Dr. Peter Camfield at 580-349-1514 or email him at pcamfield@opsu.edu.

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