An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Advancement of a Whole-Chain, Stakeholder Driven Traceability System for Agricultural Commodities: Beef Cattle Pilot Demonstration


<p>(1)Develop a working, scalable stakeholder-driven "whole chain" agricultural commodity traceability system. </p>
<p>(2) Develop consumer information links to the traceability system using mobile and social media. </p>
<p>(3) Deploy the traceability system as a pilot beef cattle demonstration. </p>
<p>(4) Evaluate the benefits and costs of using the system. </p>
<p>(5) Transfer lessons learned about benefits and costs of using the system to producers, industry professionals, retailers, and other stakeholders, with the goal of extending the technology to other commodities and products. </p>
<p>Outputs: Stakeholder engagement. This approach insures current and cutting edge industry, governmental, and consumer information needs are incorporated into the system. This approach seeks to develop and grow stakeholder "buy-in" to avoid the negative response commonly found in systems that are forced on industry without industry input. Deploy the data repository traceability and marketing system in a demonstration project. Cutting edge technology will allow immediate access to location data so that government and health resource units can mitigate outbreaks or attacks on food supplies without economically and socially devastating the industry and interrupting the food supply chain throughout the US unnecessarily. Producer selected real-time marketing data will be accessible by connected consumers. Demonstrate the integration of end software and equipment add-ins to help producers, processors, and consumers. Show stakeholders the full potential of stakeholder-driven, "whole-chain" data repository traceability and marketing system. Initiate, deploy and manage a working web-model of a "whole chain" product traceability system that is provided under open source licensing backed by secured intellectual properties for low cost and rapid adoption by the domestic (and potentially international) agricultural and food supply chains.</p>

More information

<p>NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY:<br/> Traceability is a key component in developing a safe food supply, as evidenced by the recent outbreak of foodborne illnesses attributed to spinach, peppers, and tomatoes in the United States and the ongoing e-coli outbreak in Europe with 27 deaths reported to date. The European Union has agreed to pay over $300 million to farmers who suffered losses. The Centers for Disease Control reported that salmonella infection rates are increasing with one million people sickened by food-borne pathogens each year. Unfortunately, the current approach to product traceability is one-up, one-back information sharing at the GTIN (global trade item number) lot level. This type of traceability system has many disadvantages, including lack of privacy, and fails to maximize system benefits such as efficiency and more complete or ?whole-chain? information sharing.
This approach is fraught with inherent delays, limiting consumers? and regulators? ability to identify the contaminant source and limiting mitigation efforts in the event of outbreaks or bioterrorism. This lack of critical information can cause significant economic losses to multiple industries resulting from public uncertainty on the potential for human hazard, affecting even those not connected with outbreaks. Conversely, research suggests that whole-chain traceability can substantially limit the economic loss of food safety events.
<p>APPROACH:<br/> The software development for a working, scalable stakeholder-driven "whole chain" agricultural commodity traceability system is broken down into four categories: 1) system architecture, 2) system software, 3) content-centric networking and 4) stakeholder feedback. System Architecture: We propose to implement the distributed system using a content-centric networking (CCN) data framework such as the CCNx framework currently under development by Xerox PARC, System Software: The proposed WCTS system will extend the existing supply chain software of Pardalis, Inc. As multiple stakeholders may be generating and accessing shared data, we will develop algorithms for data synchronization, reconciliation and certification. The system must provide reports such as supply chain traceability reports. A browser-based version of the user interface will be designed and
implemented. A critical subset of these will be implemented as applications in mobile Android based smart phones. Content-Centric Networking for Food Traceability: Initially, CCNx will be applied for commodity traceability to determine system performance characteristics such as bandwidth, caching requirements, delays, throughput, etc. CCNx's performance will be compared to the Internet Protocol. The security of CCNx for commodity traceability will be analyzed. In the second phase we will seek to alleviate the bottlenecks and weaknesses identified in the first phase, particularly the security vulnerabilities and trust implementation in the whole chain. We will first identify the security goals for a whole chain commodity traceability system to define security policies. These policies, which will include access rights, for example, will be enforced by credentials. Second, we will analyze
the different levels of protection and privacy required by the different types of content. Third, we will implement trust in the whole supply chain within the CCNx framework by integrating credentials (Blaze et. al. 1996) with reputation-based trust management (Zacharia 2000) and policy-based trust management. We propose to create and discover by content the distributed credentials, reputations, users and data and thereby create a trust chain that is content-centric. Sanitation algorithms (Dilys 2007)) to filter content will be explored with a view to incorporating them within CCNx to ensure privacy.
<p>PROGRESS: 2012/09 TO 2013/08<br/>Target Audience: Scientists, cattle producers, nutrition managers, beef processors, regulatory agencies, policy makers, and the general public Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? We have demonstrated the first phase of the software development to groups with representatives from the beef industry (including producers) and government regulators. It is expected that this software demonstration will continue through 2014. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest? We have just begun the process of sharing information with our stakeholders. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Continue developing our extension demonstration materials. Continue meeting with stakeholders and demonstrating
the system and soliciting feedback.
<p>PROGRESS: 2011/09/01 TO 2012/08/31<br/>OUTPUTS: The team has made significant progress on evaluating current systems and creating the base structure for a new system. The following are the following specifics: 1The CCNx (Content-Centric Networking), a product of XEROX PARC Labs was evaluated to determine if the technology was a viable basis for communications in the whole-chain traceability system. Our tests determined that this technology is still to immature to serve our purposes. 2The Pardalis system was evaluated and it was determined that extensive work was needed to bring the system up to current network and security standards. The team determined that more advancement could be made by developing a system from scratch than reworking the Pardalis system to bring it up to current standards and then move it forward. 3) A Linux server has been set up for the whole
chain traceability system. MySQL database and APACHE web Server were installed on the server. Both are popular, reliable, and open source. Web-Services are the means of communication to our MySQL databases to either send/receive data. The Universal Resource Locator (URL) for the server is 4The team is currently evaluating several node based beef related traceability products that are on the market. The ultimate goal is that the OSU whole-chain traceability system will interface with these supply chain node traceability systems so that data can seamlessly be transferred from one system to another as the animal moves through the supply chain. 5We have explored implementing a distributed database where MySQL databases are distributed on multiple servers. This enhances data availability and reduces the central point of failure, thus making the system more
robust. We have developed an immutability model that aims at making the data stored in the database immutable (unchangeable). In the supply chain when data flows from one level to another a third party authorizes the data. After the data becomes unchangeable, if the authorized data is found to be incorrect a new data record is added to a change log. This allows for all changes to authorized data to be tracked as it moves through the supply chain. 7We are developing and experimenting with tablet computer apps, desktop computer programs, and web-based client applications to access the data contained in the database system. 8We are developing face-to-face and online surveys that will be given to producers (at various point along the supply chain) and processors to gain a better understanding on stakeholder knowledge base; preconceived notions about traceability from a food safety, disease,
and supply chain management standpoint ; and what types of information would stakeholders like to have quick access to. The research team has worked well together during that past year to achieve the research and extension goals established in the grant proposal. The team met (via conference call for partners outside the Stillwater area) twenty-one times during the past year. The entire team met in Fayetteville, AR for a traceability mini-conference that was held in conjuction with the Arkansas Association of Food Protection. 136 people attended the conference PARTICIPANTS: Dr. Michael Buser, OSU Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering faculty member is the OSU lead for the studies related to the USDA NIFSI project. Dr. Buser supervises two Agricultural Communications graduate students who are supported by the project and are working on gathering stakeholder input through personal and
online surveys. Dr. Brian Adam, OSU Agricultural Economics faculty member is working on the economic components of the project. Dr. Adam supervises two Agricultural Economics graduate students who are working on literature searches and economic modeling. Dr. Tim Bowser, OSU Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering faculty member is working with processors and how our system will integrate with current processor practices. Drs. Mayfield and Thomas, OSU Computer Science faculty members are working on evaluating current traceability systems and creating a pilot scale SQL based traceability system that will integrate with selected existing systems. Drs. Mayfield and Thomas are supervising two computer science graduate students. Drs. Crandall and Ricke, University of Arkansas faculty members are working with retailers and producers and are working on the project from the food safety side. Drs.
Crandall and Ricke are supervising two graduate students. John Bailey of Top 10 Produce has provided a marketed brand for the pilot scale system to work under which allows the acquisition of GS1 GTIN numbers for the project. Mr. Bailey has provided a direct line to producers and processors that are already using traceability systems John Blanton with the Noble Foundation works with a large number of cow-calf, stocker, and feedyard operations. Partner organizations that have provided the following assistance to the project: Texas Cattle Feeders Association Oklahoma Cattleman's Association MarketMaker (University of Illinois) Dr. Derrell Peel (Oklahoma State University) Earth2Urban, a Oklahoma consolidator of local food Bar S Foods Lopez Foods Advanced Foods American Association of Meat Producers TARGET AUDIENCES: Beef producers (cow-calf, stocker, and feedyard levels),
beef processors, and consumers. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Pardalis, Inc. is no longer associated with the project. The Pardalis system was evaluated and it was determined that considerable time, money, and other resources would be needed to bring the system up to date to meet current network and security standards at the university. Once the team decided not to go with the Pardalis system and build a new system from scratch, Pardalis exited the project when the university would not guarantee to create the new system under the Pardalis patents.

Buser, Michael
Oklahoma State University
Start date
End date
Project number
Accession number