Ohio State Fair to require DNA submission and electronic ID for all market beef animals

The Ohio State Fair Beef Department has adopted new protocols for identifying market beef animals beginning with the 2015 Fair, July 29 through August 9. These protocols include the use of an electronic identification (EID) ear tag that has a unique 15-digit number and a DNA sample that will be submitted for all market beef animals that exhibitors plan to enter in the 2015 Ohio State Fair Junior Market Beef show.

The DNA collection will be in the form of a hair sample that will be submitted to the Ohio State Fair by January 15, 2015 to meet the ownership deadlines for market beef animals. Along with the DNA hair submission, each market animal’s 15-digit EID tag must also be included on the DNA packet. DNA packets may be picked up at an exhibitor’s local Ohio State University Extension Office or at any Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) BEST sanctioned show prior to the Jan. 15 deadline.

“The market beef exhibitors in the Buckeye state have set a tremendous precedent in their desire to be young stewards of the beef industry,” said Ohio State Fair Beef Department Director Bill Tom. “The decision to use a more modern means of technology for livestock verification was an easy one, because I am confident that the juniors and their families will make a seamless transition with the new DNA and EID requirement.”

Any market beef animal that is expected to be show at the Ohio State Fair that has a pre-existing EID tag, such as an RFID tag, will not need to have an additional EID tag placed in the animal’s ear for State Fair purposes. For example, if the calf was purchased from a breeder that already included a 15-digit RFID tag in the animal, or if the animal has been to an OCA BEST show where an EID tag was placed in its ear, a new tag is not needed. The animal’s existing 15-digit identification number will also serve as the animal’s Ohio State Fair identification number. Exhibitors of animals not shown at an OCA BEST sanctioned show should contact their county extension office for an EID tag.

More information about the DNA collection process and submission to the Ohio State Fair will be available in November.

Exhibitors who have questions or would like additional information about the new identification protocols are asked to contact Stacey French at the Ohio State Fair by calling 614-644-4049 or by emailing at s.french@expo.state.oh.us.

For more information, call 1-888-OHO-EXPO or 1-614-644-FAIR. On the Web, visit ohiostatefair.com.

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