The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) will receive a grant of up to $1 million intended to register dairy premises under the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). NMPF will use the money to work with its IDairy coalition partners to further the registration effort.

Since IDairy was established in 2005, over 30,000 dairy producers have registered their premises under the NAIS, but as many as 35,000 commercial dairy operations are not yet registered. IDairy’s goal is to have 100 percent of the operations registered in order to enable animal health officials to quickly respond to an animal health emergency.

“This agreement is another important step forward as we advance the National Animal Identification System," said Bruce Knight, under secretary for USDA's marketing and regulatory programs. "It builds on agreements previously announced with the National Pork Board, the National FFA Organization and the U.S. Animal Identification Organization to promote animal health by providing producers with the information they need to take the important step of registering their premises and protecting their animals."

Under the agreement announced today NMPF, with the cooperation of the rest of the IDairy consortium, will conduct an outreach campaign including direct mail, advertising, Internet activities, dairy trade show presentations and individual contacts with producers including on-site visits.

“All of the organizations involved with IDairy look forward to working with USDA to promote premises registration as part of the NAIS,” said Jerry Kozak CEO/President NMPF. “We feel that with our broad industry connections, we can make a powerful impact through this agreement. NAIS is an important part of our dairy industry’s national insurance policy against animal disease outbreaks.”

Kozak said that IDairy is pleased to be working with the government, as both organizations are committed to the concept of having a national animal identification program.

NAIS consists of three components: premises registration, animal identification and tracing. Earlier this year, USDA announced the availability of $6 million for cooperative agreements, subject to availability, to support nonprofit agricultural organizations to promote NAIS and to increase participation in premises registration. NMPF will receive just over $1 million of that for dairy outreach activities.

IDairy was formed in 2005 by NMPF, American Jersey Cattle Association, Dairy Calf & Heifer Association, the Holstein Association USA, National Association of Animal Breeders and National Dairy Herd Improvement Association to promote NAIS in the dairy industry.

IDairy press release