Ag Expo covers ID tags to compost

By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers

PORTALES — New Mexico State University extension agents will be conducting seminars to keep ranchers and dairymen up-to-date on animal identification tags and composting animal carcasses during the 13th annual New Mexico Ag Expo at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds.

Ron Parker, New Mexico Extension beef specialist, will be conducting the animal identification tag seminar at 10:30 a.m. today.

“It’s certainly very important,” Portales Livestock auction manager Randy Bouldin said. “We like to stay up to date. We deal with that aspect more with the (United States Department of Agriculture) than with our sellers.”

Parker said he believes an animal identification program will be introduced at some point in the future.

“It may be two, five or 10 years away,” Parker said. “We anticipate that either through the USDA or through legislation they will make animal IDs mandatory or voluntary.”

Parker said even if it only becomes voluntary, it could have an effect on the livestock sellers. Parker said consumers will view the livestock purchased with animal ID tags as more desirable.

Parker said animal ID tags would make tracing the origin of the beef simpler, especially in light of mad cow disease.

Hillary Sullivan, NMSU extension dairy specialist, will also be presenting a seminar at 10 a.m. on Wednesday on composting animal carcasses.

“They (NMSU Extension officials) are going to be talking about a process of composting animal carcasses efficiently without polluting the environment and following environmental guidelines,” Roosevelt County Extension Agent Floyd McAlister said. “It’ll be helpful for large dairy operators in getting rid of carcasses on their site.”

The Expo is expected to draw more than 450 exhibitors.