Regarding the March 10 BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly article, "South Dakota Stockgrowers Circulate ID Petition," I want to comment that my organization, the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association (SDCA), hasn't officially supported a mandatory ID program. We do, however, recognize it's going to be a reality and we support efforts by NCBA to develop a privately held database to protect confidential producer information and to hold down costs.

While we recognize hot-iron brands can and historically have played an important role in tracing cattle, a paper-based system is inefficient and cumbersome. That's without considering that a brand can be registered in the same location in any adjacent state, and states east of South Dakota have no inspection system or inspectors, not to mention the cost of hiring and training them!

SDCA believes the market should and will drive development of, and participation in, a national livestock ID system. Scott Jones President Elect South Dakota Cattlemen's Association