A pioneer in live age verification

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A small Northumberland County sale barn is a Canadian pioneer in live age verification of beef cattle. Members of the DeNure family, who have owned Hoard’s Station Sale Barn since 1949, hosted about 50 agricultural journalists Friday as part of the 2007 Canadian Farm Writers Federation annual conference.

The sale barn, known as Hoard’s, was the first auction house in the country to deliver real-time beef cattle age verification using the new radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. Auction markets are keen to see the industry transition to 100% usage of RFID tags in order to improve the efficiency of their systems, but this is not mandatory in the livestock industry. The dangle barcode ear tags interfere with the accuracy of the RFID readers, and although they are no longer available for purchase, there are still many animals going through the sale barn with those particular tags.

Another challenge facing sale barns is availability of high speed internet access, which is important to be able to quickly process and verify animals. Hoard’s currently works with a two-way satellite internet connection, which takes about four seconds to read and process information read off an ear tag.

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Staff from Hoard’s demonstrated how their system works by using several conference delegates as “livestock” and sending them through the ring, as pictured here.

CFWF 2007 Conference photo album

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