This week has been a series of firsts for me…I’m now the mom of a high schooler, I hosted my very first webinar on the new federal animal identification requirements, and I’m writing my first blog.
Even though I was a little nervous about hosting my first webinar, I found that I had a really good time talking with our guests and learning right along with our members. Dr. Tony Forshey, state veterinarian for the Ohio Department of Agriculture, and Dr. Susan Skorupski, the area veterinarian in charge for USDA-APHIS- Veterinary Services, both did a wonderful job explaining the topic and answering members’ questions.
Takeaways from the webinar
Much input was given in listening sessions and conversations across the country, so rest assured these rules weren’t randomly pulled out of the air. The new requirements help trace animals in the face of an animal disease. This is covered in detail in the webinar, which you can request to view at the bottom of this post, but here are some key points:
1. The only animals required to be officially identified are those moving between states.
2. The webinar focused on beef, dairy and horses. There are no changes to the identification of sheep, goats, pigs and cervidae (deer family).
3. Most interstate movement requires some type of official identification and movement documentation. There are exemptions to this, which are detailed in the webinar.
4. Official identification varies by species. The cost of official ID ranges from free on up, depending on your choice of technology.
5. Each state can choose additional official ID it will accept. The rules are flexible enough that Ohio can work with other states it does business with to approve specific forms of official ID that works for the situation.
Old dogs, New tricks
A lot of work was done by staff to prepare for the webinar, including setting up, sound checking and rechecking, and making sure all on camera were comfortable in our roles. This required teaching some old dogs (yes, including me) some new tricks and was no easy task.
Change is hard, folks, but Farm Bureau is trying to work smarter with your membership dollars to provide needed information in a member-friendly way. For those farmers who might not have time to clean up to go to a meeting in town, webinars provide a way to access information from a home computer “live” or at a later date, which often means a rainy day. I hope these webinars become popular with our members, as I think it is a valuable use of resources and time.
WATCH THIS EVENT
In case you missed the live viewing of the webinar, you can request a copy of the recording, along with a number of others by filling out and submitting the form below.
Dr. Leah C. Dorman is Ohio Farm Bureau’s director of food programs.