I suppose someone can make the case that national ID, or even country-of-origin labeling, can save your operation in the case of a disease outbreak. In reality, however, neither is likely to amount to a hill of beans in and of themselves in regard to the profitability of your specific operation.
Rather, they reflect broader national issues, likely your vision of what it means to be customer-centric and what is the proper role for government. These can be very important issues, but if they involve very much of your time or energy, they probably reflect management priorities that are way out of line.
I received an email this week from a producer who said he hadn't slept well for a couple of years because of one of these issues. I admire his commitment and passion but, upon reflection, it made me think of how often we let one of these industry issues take on a life of its own and its importance to swell all out of whack.
If this producer had spent all those sleepless nights focused on marketing his cattle better, breeding better cattle, enjoying his family more, making a bigger contribution in his community, or even team-roping, he would be a lot happier and healthier.
These broader philosophical arguments mentioned above aren't without merit, and may be worth good discussion, even an occasional debate. However, there are a lot more important things that relate directly to the success of our operations that deserve our time and consideration.
-- Troy Marshall