Joe Leathers New named to the CattleTrace, Inc. Board of Directors

Joe Leathers with the Texas-based 6666 Ranch joins the CattleTrace, Inc. Board of Directors as a cow-calf sector representative.

MANHATTAN, Kan. — CattleTrace, Inc. is excited to introduce Joe Leathers with 6666 Ranch as the seventh member of the organizations Board of Directors. Joe is the General Manager of the 6666 Ranch located near Guthrie, TX, and will be representing the cow-calf sector on the CattleTrace Board. Established in August 2018, the CattleTrace Board has increased to seven members, and they are tasked with establishing the strategic direction and policies for CattleTrace, including setting the protocol of who, how and when the data is accessed for animal disease traceability. Other members include Brandon Depenbusch with Innovative Livestock Services, Tom Jones with Hy-Plains Feedyard, Wes Killion with Beef Northwest Feeders, Mark Gardiner with Gardiner Angus Ranch, Ken Stielow with Bar S Ranch and Neil Bouray with Mankato Livestock Inc.

Welcome to the CattleTrace team, Joe!

Board Perspective

As previously mentioned, the CattleTrace, Inc. Board of Directors now includes seven members. Their task is to establish the policies and procedures of data access, and to set the strategic direction of the future of CattleTrace. They represent the cow-calf, seedstock, cattle feeder and livestock market segments, and serve as the beef industry representatives setting the protocols for the CattleTrace program. We appreciate these volunteer leaders and look forward to what we can accomplish this next year. For this “Board Member Perspective,” we asked Ken Stielow of Bar S Ranch the following question.

As a cow-calf and seedstock producer, why do you believe we need a nationally significant full traceability system?

When cattle traceability is mentioned, many producers are only interested if their cattle have an immediate price increase.  I see two more industry-wide, future-oriented reasons to have traceability.  First, to gain confidence in our product among younger consumers and in the export market.  Second, to have the ability to quickly get a handle on a devastating disease outbreak.

The Tag Tracker 

The CattleTrace team has a total of about 90,000 tags to distribute for the two-year pilot. In order to build a dataset to test the system, three key production scenarios were identified to allocate the tags in a purposeful way, enhancing the likelihood of sighting animals at multiple points of commingling.

  1. Whole Path – Tag calves at the cow-calf segment before the first point of commingling. Ideally, all cattle would be tagged at the ranch of origin, but we know only a percentage will end up at partner livestock markets. That is why we are focusing recruitment at the cow-calf level with producers who may already do business with a partner livestock market. This ensures reads at the livestock market, feedyard and packer.
  2. Direct Buy – Working with our partner feedyards, we are identifying cow/calf producers and/or backgrounders to tag cattle before they arrive at the feedyard. This ensures reads at the feedyard and the packer segments.
  3. Livestock Markets – Tag calves after they go through the sale ring at a livestock market, knowing they were purchased by a partner feedyard. This ensures reads at the market, feedyard and packer segments.

You can learn more about CattleTrace online at, and follow CattleTrace on Facebook or Twitter to receive periodic updates as well.

By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.

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