Sites in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington State will host USDA listening sessions on the National Animal identification System. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, during the sessions, USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will seek to gather not only producer comments and concerns, but also potential or feasible solutions to create a program that producers can feel comfortable supporting.
The listening sessions will include information about the current program, as well as an opportunity to give public testimony or ask program-related questions. Discussion sessions related to NAIS' cost, impact on small farmers, privacy and confidentiality, liability premises registration, animal identification and animal tracing will allow producers to provide their input on ways to make the program into something they can support.
The public listening sessions will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. local time, with registration one hour prior to each meeting. The schedule is:
Thursday, May 14: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Monday, May 18: Pasco, Washington, Wednesday, May 20: Austin, Texas, Thursday, May 21: Birmingham, Alabama, Friday, May 22: Louisville, Kentucky, Wednesday, May 27: Storrs, Connecticut, and Monday, June 1: Greeley, Colorado.