We dive into the very controversial topic of mandatory versus voluntary electronic identification.  What is happening, why and the updates. Join Jeff ‘Tigger’ Erhardt, the Boss Lady Rebecca Wanner aka ‘BEC’, and our crew as we bring you the latest in markets, news, and Western entertainment on this all-new episode of the Ranch It Up Radio Show. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcasting app or on the Ranch It Up Radio Show YouTube Channel.

WEBSITE Ranch It Up S4 E171 Electronic-Identification Tags (EID) Cattle Market News Jeff Erhardt Tigger Rebecca Wanner BEC US Cattlemens Justin Tupper


Mandatory EID or Voluntary EID, Electronic Identification, that is the question, and that has everyone in the cattle sector buzzing. Recently the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, NCBA proposed various recommendations around mandatory electronic identification. After meetings last week in Orlando, Florida, it was voted to lessen the recommendations.  It is important to note that nothing is in law yet.  It is business as normal for cattle producers, but questions are still being raised, and rightfully so. Many producers across the country voiced their opinions, for and against.  And equally important is the fact that producers voiced their opinions.  Why are some in favor of mandatory EID, and why are some against it?  Let’s start tackling this issue by visiting with the president of the United States Cattlemen’s Association and the general manager of St. Onge Livestock in St. Onge, South Dakota. 


According to the Tri-State Livestock News and the Rural Radio Network,  the NCBA Cattle Health and Wellbeing Committee supported an amendment to a current policy at its recent convention.

The wording that was added included NCBA supporting the adoption and implementation of electronic identification for interstate movement of all sexually intact cattle 18 months and older, which appears to jive with USDA’s proposed rule. According to the Bryce Doeschot story by Rural Radio Network, NCBA’s committee approved the following language:

“NCBA supports adoption and implementation by the beef cattle industry of electronic identification (EID) devices for interstate movement of all cattle. (Sexually intact cattle > 18 months, rodeo and exhibition cattle, dairy cattle)

Be it further resolved, NCBA will provide outreach and education to members following anticipated publication of USDA’s final rule requiring EID devices for interstate movement of all subject to the 2023 USDA Animal Disease Traceability rule (sexually intact cattle > 18 months, rodeo and exhibition cattle, dairy cattle). 

Be it further resolved, NCBA will support a private, industry managed, non-government Independent Database Collaborator (IDC) to serve as a hub for critical data, coordination, including data collection and housing for four data points (ID number, time, date and location); seamless coordination with USDA’s Animal Health Event Repository (AHER) and major animal identification program organizations; and a defined process for animal health officials to interact with the IDC in the event of a disease event of national significance.”

In a radio interview, Jaclyn Wilson with Nebraska Cattlemen and NCBA said NCBA continues to support a voluntary ID system.

Justin Tupper, President of the US Cattlemen’s Association and the manager of St. Onge Livestock, St. Onge, South Dakota said commerce will be hugely affected by a mandatory electronic tagging system, if USDA implements one. This is a concern of many cattle producers and auction market owners.

Requiring electronic identification on all cattle would be “messy” said Tupper and he also pointed out that producers in his part of the country don’t want their data/ cattle numbers, etc., being made available to the public. “These big sales in the fall, we can barely find enough help to begin with,” he said. He added that cattle shrink and lose weight by putting them through a chute and checking tags or applying tags. “It would be unfeasible during the fall run, especially here,” he said.

USCA supports producers’ right to use any kind of identification they choose to on a voluntary level, he said.

R-CALF USA animal identification committee chairman Kenny Fox said that mandatory animal identification would open the door to more government mandates in the name of climate change.

“They find out how many cattle we have, then they start talking about greenhouse gasses. In Ireland they are cutting the number of cattle allowed in the country,” he said.

“Mandatory ID really infringes on our ability to raise cattle the way we want to,” he said.

R-CALF USA supports the current rule, implemented in 2013, which allows producers the ability to choose the form of identification they like best, including the metal clip “bangs” tag.

The Independent Beef Association of North Dakota said, in a news release that it supports voluntary EID that may be used by producers to better their return on their livestock, but does not support mandatory EID that passes on any extra cost or burden to the producer or infringe on their personal and private rights.  “I-BAND supports producers’ rights to use EID for their own practices. As a producer, you need to reach out to NCBA state affiliates and tell them to oppose this policy,” said the news release.

“Traceability needs to be directed toward imports,” said I-BAND.


Chicken Now Matches Beef In Sales For McDonalds

According to Meating Place Dot Com, Chicken products sold at McDonald’s now generate as much money for the chain as its beef burgers, representing annual sales of $25 billion in chicken sandwiches and nuggets at company-owned and franchised restaurants. 

McDonald’s plans to extend its share of the chicken business by 2026 through an expansion of its McCrispy platform into wraps and tenders. 

McDonald’s reported improved sales both domestically and globally in the fourth quarter as the fast food giant prepares to address affordability issues and product strategies.

According to reports, customers who earn less than $45,000 annually are turning toward more home-cooked meals instead of McDonald’s, where a combo meal can cost nearly $18 dollars in some markets. For example, the once-valued Dollar Menu also did not feature a single item for $1 in the Akron, Ohio, market last fall.


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Mrnak Hereford Ranch: February 11, 2024, Bowman, North Dakota

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Chestnut Angus Farm: February 25, 2024, Pipestone, Minnesota

Mason Angus & SimAngus: March 2, 2024, Broken Bow, Nebraska

Mar Mac Farms: March 6, 2024, Brandon, Manitoba

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Justin Tupper

United States Cattlemen’s Association



Kirk Donsbach: Stone X Financial



Mark Van Zee 

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Shaye Koester

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