Discussions on the opportunities and challenges of USDA's “A Business Plan to Advance Animal Disease Traceability” and pending implementation of Country-of-Origin Labeling are two key topics on the agenda of the 2008 ID•INFO Workshop slated for Thursday, April 3, in Indianapolis. This year’s one-day workshop will be conducted in conjunction with the National Institute for Animal Agriculture’s annual meeting.

“In respect of everyone’s time, this year’s ID•INFO Workshop is being condensed into one day,” states Glenn Fischer, Planning Group Chair of the ID•INFO Workshop. “With this tight time frame, we’re going to hit topics hard and fast and depart the workshop with solutions and more answers than questions.”

USDA’s Business Plan to Advance Animal Disease Traceability kicks off the morning’s discussion with National NAIS coordinator Neil Hammerschmidt delivering an update on the Plan. Hammerschmidt will be followed by a healthy discussion on the Plan’s challenges and opportunities from three perspectives: state, industry and information systems.

Workshop participants will then transition to a presentation on the pending implementation of COOL and hear a 30-minute review of this program.

After lunch, workshop participants will spend the afternoon divided into groups of 20 or less. Each group will address six key questions related to NAIS and COOL, with key findings of all groups summarized at the end of the afternoon, and the findings from the workshop will be submitted to USDA as important industry consensus points.

“Among the questions are how do we implement an effective disease traceability system and reach 70 percent participation on a voluntary basis, how will the premises and animal ID standards be implemented in current disease programs administered by animal health officials and private practitioners, and are timelines defined in the NAIS Business Plan realistic,” Fischer adds. “The more input we have from those involved in animal agriculture, the better these and other questions can be answered.”

Registration for the one-day ID•INFO Workshop is just $150 per person. Individuals attending the ID•INFO Workshop on Thursday are encouraged to also attend NIAA’s Animal Identification and Information Systems Committee Meeting on Wednesday afternoon, April 2, where information about state NAIS activities and species updates will be shared.

To learn more about the ID•INFO Workshop on April 3 or NIAA’s annual meeting, April 1-3,  www.animalagriculture.org or call NIAA at (270) 782-9798.

Source: National Institute for Animal Agriculture