Animal ID: FFA to Promote Premises Registration

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National FFA Organization announced June 4 a partnership for a broad-based education in the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) for current FFA members and alumni. The cooperative agreement signed at USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C., will help promote premises registration across the country.

"Rapid disease response limits the impact of an outbreak on a producer's operation--or can stop disease spread before it reaches the animals," said Bruce Knight, undersecretary for USDA's marketing and regulatory programs. "Choosing to be a part of voluntary NAIS ensures a producer of needed information, when they need it most--to protect their animals and their investment."

The National Animal Identification System includes premises registration, animal identification, and tracing. State and federal officials can contain a disease outbreak or other animal health event more quickly and more effectively if they have timely, accurate information.

The premises registration component of NAIS makes available a nationwide communications network to assist livestock owners and animal health officials in the case of a disease event. More than 394,000 premises nationwide have been registered to date.

"The National FFA Organization stands ready to partner with USDA on this venture. Together we can combine our talents and resources to educate the agriculture industry about NAIS and to help promote premises registration," said Larry D. Case, FFA chief executive officer and national FFA advisor.

In February, USDA announced $6 million for cooperative agreements, subject to the availability of funding, to support nonprofit agricultural organizations to promote NAIS, and specifically, to increase participation in premises registration. USDA has awarded funding to the National Pork Board and is reviewing additional applications.

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