GFM Network News


Cattle producers urged to get premises identification number

The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency is urging Alberta livestock producers to prepare for new livestock traceability regulations that once enacted will require them to have a valid, premises identification (PID) number. A producer can call Alberta’s PID registry at 310-FARM with a legal land description to confirm or acquire a PID, or contact a field […] Read more

SAIT researcher Glen Kathler applies an RFID-enabled ear tag at 
CL Ranches west of Calgary.

High-frequency tags: Easier data reading, happier cattle

Next generation of RFID readers can read cattle tags without having to use a squeeze chute

Using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to track and collect information on cattle is fast becoming standard practice. However, the process can be painfully slow and inefficient. But researchers may have found a way to change that. A three-year project conducted by SAIT’s Glen Kathler tested the ability of ultra-high-frequency RFID tag readers to process […] Read more


There are too many gaps in Canada’s traceability system, provincial expert Rick Frederickson said at the recent Traceability Symposium.

A full and robust traceability system still years away

Alberta is one of the few provinces with mandatory premises identification, but some livestock owners still aren’t registered

A national traceability system covering the entire country would pay major benefits — but it currently has far too many gaps, says a senior traceability official. “The creation of a system has to be national in scope,” said Rick Frederickson, director of animal welfare and national traceability initiatives with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “We need […] Read more

Traceability is about more than food safety — it’s a way to establish a new relationship with consumers, food expert Sylvain Charlebois told attendees at the recent Traceability Symposium.

New era of traceability needs to involve the consumer

A system created to deal with food safety issues should also be a ‘conduit’ connecting consumers and farmers

One of Canada’s best-known food experts says that while farmers and the ag sector are trying hard to connect with consumers, they’re not pulling it off. And they’ll need to do better because customer engagement is critical in the new “era of supply chain transparency,” Sylvain Charlebois told the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency’s inaugural Traceability […] Read more


This small box — a data logger — could make life a lot easier on the ranch and at the feedlot by automating the process of tracking cattle.

Traceability poised for next step: Auto tracking of cattle

The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) is tapping 
into new technology to make traceability fast and easy

Automated tracking of cattle may soon be a reality. During the coming year, the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) will be experimenting throughout the province with data loggers installed at farms, feedlots, and auction markets to track cattle as they move through the value chain. “Movement is very difficult to track, especially when animals are […] Read more

Pen checkers use their experience and instinct to spot cattle that may be ill, but fitness activity monitors may one day aid them in that task.

Will the cows of tomorrow all be wearing fitness trackers?

Devices that measure activity levels can be used to tell if cattle are 
feeling poorly — but there are still some kinks to be worked out

Fitness trackers are all the rage among people these days — but they could catch on with cows, too. But the idea isn’t to start counting cow steps or to up bovine fitness levels. Rather, the goal is to use fitness monitors as a way to detect illness in beef cattle early on. Cattle producers […] Read more


Two newly tagged cattle walk under an archway equipped with ultra-high-frequency RFID readers that record their data during field testing with SAIT RADLab industry partner CL Ranches.

Taking cattle tag reading to the next level

Forget reading one tag at a time, this technology can track every member of a herd going down an alley at once

Cattle producers could save themselves a fair bit of time and money — if they’re willing to make the shift from standard low-frequency RFID tags to a new ultra-high-frequency alternative. “The typical button tag has been around for a long time and works very well, but it’s in a low-frequency spectrum and the read range […] Read more

Tool puts traceability service providers on the map

Traceability Connects has more than 80 locations offering livestock traceability services in Alberta

Alberta livestock owners now have easier access to information and services for the livestock traceability system through a new interactive map called Traceability Connects. The map makes it easier for livestock producers to connect with traceability service providers, said Kelly Corbett, provincial traceability education co-ordinator “The tool identifies over 80 locations province-wide that offer a […] Read more