Prosperity, security, sustainability: livestock traceability take center stage at 2018 NIAA Annual Conference
“Security and sustainability are connected,” said National Institute for Animal Agriculture member and 2018 annual conference speaker Marty Matlock, DVM, University of Arkansas, Center for Agriculture and Rural Sustainability. Livestock Traceability, which is a key ingredient in food safety and biosecurity, he said, “gets to the core of the state of animal agriculture today.”
The NIAA has chosen Livestock Traceability: Opportunities for Animal Agriculture as its theme for this year’s annual conference because NIAA represents stakeholders from across animal agriculture. Traceability is no longer just a hot topic for the cattle industry, and impacts producers from across all livestock species, as well as policy makers, distribution agencies and the rest of the animal agriculture industry.
“Livestock traceability touches on many facets of ag production, prosperity and security/sustainability,” said Matlock, whose general session presentation to the conference is titled The Intersection Between Traceability and Sustainability. Matlock will also present to the NIAA Aquaculture Committee break–Out session.
From a producer’s viewpoint, according to Matlock, traceability includes how to react to changes in the market place, consumer demands and any risk associated in markets. Traceability encourages animal welfare and improved genetics as animals move through the system, and over time, offers the ability to draw quality demographics and perspective.
As far as security is concerned, human welfare as well as animal welfare is included in the scope of livestock traceability, as food safety concerns and possible disease events depend on the ability to intervene and remedy exposure, across all species.
Finally, from the sustainability perspective, Matlock says “traceability allows us to understand the production system and be in the to know as to what is happening all along the supply chain. It draws attention to the impact on the environment and human and animal welfare concerns.”
“The NIAA Annual Conference provides the opportunity for the community of practitioners and scholars to share knowledge for the next century in global animal agriculture,” Matlock said. “NIAA presents a unique opportunity because it is a mix of producers, academics and industry professionals.”
Join NIAA in Denver at the Renaissance Stapleton Hotel, April 10–12 for collaborative discussions, educational presentations and opportunities to help develop the next steps in livestock traceability.
NIAA will also host an important interactive workshop on April 12 following the close of the annual conference. The workshop is titled Traceability and the Real World. A technology showcase with the most current technology, products and services focused on livestock traceability will also be available to attendees during the conference.