Last week, the IDairy coalition officially named the National FAIR (Farm Animal Identification and Records) system as the database for managing dairy identification information. To underscore this commitment, the six organizations signed a memorandum of understanding that designates National FAIR as IDairy’s choice to confidentially house dairy and livestock identification data in compliance with the upcoming national animal identification system.

The National FAIR system is administered by Holstein Association USA, Inc. It is an individual, electronic animal identification system with proven 48-hour traceback abilities. National FAIR has successfully enrolled over three million animals in a secure, online database since 1998. In September 2006, after an independent review administered by the USDA, National FAIR was named an approved interim/development participant in USDA’s National Animal Identification System (NAIS).

Dairy producers need a private animal identification database that can ensure confidentiality, while also complying with the needs of USDA, at a low cost, said Jerry Kozak, president and chief executive officer of the National Milk Producers Federation. “As the IDairy coalition looked across the industry for such a system, National FAIR was the clear choice.”

“This may be the most significant, comprehensive and united effort this country’s dairy industry has ever put together,” said John M. Meyer, chief executive officer of Holstein Association USA, Inc. “We believe U.S. dairy producers are pleased that these organizations have joined together as one to lead the nation’s animal identification efforts.”

The coalition’s initiative includes a three-step phase to national animal identification: registration of premises; animal identification; and the transfer of data from individual systems to a national database.

Dairy producers can now work with IDairy to meet all three of these phases. By purchasing radio frequency identification (RFID) ear tags, producers can be enrolled in National FAIR’s USDA interim approved data tracking system to ensure they are following all the requirements set forth.

IDairy is comprised of six dairy organizations: American Jersey Cattle Association, Holstein Association USA, Inc., National Association for Animal Breeders, National Dairy Herd Improvement Association, National Milk Producers Federation and the Professional Dairy Heifer Growers Association. IDairy provides a united front for the dairy producer community to move forward with a national animal identification system.

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Source: IDairy press release