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USDA ANNOUNCES PLANS TO EXPAND NATIONAL ANIMAL IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS TO NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

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Andrea McNally (202) 690-4178
Jerry Redding (202) 720-4623

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2007--The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced a request for proposals (RFP) from nonprofit livestock and poultry industry organizations that wish to enter into cooperative agreements with USDA to advance the development of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). These cooperative agreements will support the efforts of such organizations to promote NAIS and, specifically, increase participation in premises registration--the foundation of the program.

“We have met our goal of having twenty-five percent of the Nation's premises by the end of January, but there's obviously a lot more work to be done,” said Bruce Knight, undersecretary of USDA's marketing and regulatory programs. “Producer organizations are the key to securing the level of producer participation we need to make the premises registration component of the system fully functional for everyone. Making sure we have what amounts to an emergency contact list is the backbone of an emergency response system; we want this system to be there for producers when and if an animal health emergency arises.”

USDA will make up to $6 million available for the cooperative agreements, subject to the availability of funding.

Premises registration ensures the availability of a nationwide communications network to assist livestock owners and animal health officials in the case of a disease event. With the coordinated efforts of state, industry and federal partners, more than 350,000 premises nationwide have been registered to date.

Organizations that receive these cooperative agreement funds will not be responsible for the actual administration or processing of premises registration applications. Rather, the agreements will be limited to outreach and promotional efforts that result in new premises registrations. Cooperating groups will promote premises registration to producers and increase their respective sector's level of registration in secure databases maintained by state and tribal authorities.

In order to qualify for one of the new cooperative agreements, an organization must qualify as one of the following:

  • A nonprofit, nationally-based organization representing the livestock or poultry industry;
  • A nonprofit tribal organization or association that did not receive funding from the NAIS for fiscal year (FY) 2007 through a cooperative agreement;
  • An authorized agent working on behalf of a tribe, group of tribes, or inter-tribal council that received funding for FY 2007 to conduct premises registration, but that wishes to expand its existing outreach;
  • An 1890 historically black land-grant college or university;
  • A 1994 tribal land-grant institution.

The RFP can be found at www.grants.gov. The RFP gives more detail about the cooperative agreements, including the process for developing and submitting proposals and the amount of funding available. USDA encourages all interested organizations to submit proposals for consideration. Additional information about the NAIS program, along with a link to the RFP, is available at www.usda.gov/nais.

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