**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
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 email@example.com.