The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has launched a tag program to promote livestock born and raised in North Carolina.
The new Got to Be NC tag program uses special ear tags to identify N.C.-born-and-bred cattle, swine, sheep and goats. The voluntary program is a collaboration between the department’s Got to Be NC marketing program, Livestock Marketing Section and Veterinary Division.
“Livestock production generates over $3.6 billion in farm income in North Carolina,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “We developed the Got to Be NC tag program to better promote the high-quality livestock raised in our state.”
To qualify for the program, ranchers must be North Carolina residents, and participating animals must be conceived and born in the state. Participating livestock must be identified with an official Got to Be NC tag purchased by the producer before they are sold. The tags cost $5 apiece. Ranchers must complete a producer tag record and submit it to the department after tagging their animals.
In addition to promoting livestock, the tags also will help producers comply with state and federal laws governing interstate transportation of animals.
Changes to N.C. State Fair livestock competitions
The new tag program will affect the current N.C. Born and Bred competitions at the N.C. State Fair and N.C. Mountain State Fair. N.C. Born and Bred champions are chosen in competitions for market cattle, swine, sheep and goats. Starting in 2016, the winning animals will be known as Got to Be NC champions.
To qualify for the Got to Be NC competitions, producers who have traditionally sold their animals as N.C. born and bred during the fair will need to participate in the new tag program.
Ear tag order forms, membership applications and more information are available at www.ncagr.gov/markets/livestock/NCtags.htm. Additional questions should be directed to the NCDA&CS Livestock Marketing Section at 919-707-3151.