Beef Identification (RFID)

Starting March 1, 2007, all cattle leaving their Michigan premises must be tagged with a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag. Although the USDA has made the National Animal Identification System voluntary, Michigan premises registration and the Michigan Animal Identification System has been established to aid efforts in eradication of bovine tuberculosis and is mandatory.

Register Premises

You must have a premises identification number prior to purchasing official RFID tags. If you have completed a herd bovine tuberculosis test, you have already been assigned a premises identification number. To obtain a premises identification number, call the

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development at 517-284-5670 or register online

To track animals, animal health officials must know where they are born and where they are moved. Therefore, uniquely identifying locations that manage or hold animals is the first step in traceability. Each premises in Michigan that participates in animal production and (or) commerce will be identified with a unique seven character identifier (for example, A123R69), called a premises identification number. This number is the same as that which will be used in the National Animal Identification System, developed by USDA. Information that will be associated with your premises identification number in MDARD’s database includes:

  • Name of Entity
  • Owner or Appropriate Contact Person 
  • Street Address, City, Zip Code of the farm 
  • Contact Phone Number Operation Type (e.g., farm, market, processor, etc.)

Order Tags

NorthStar Cooperative - If you have been assigned a premises identification number, you may order RFID tags, applicators, and accessories from NorthStar Cooperative at 800-631-3510. Producers may also visit the direct to order form.

Holstein Association USA - To obtain RFID tags, call the Holstein Association USA, Inc. at 800-952-5200 or visit them online.

Cattle Tags Online Store - 1-800-909-TAGS or Cattle Tags also hosts online classes on using electronic ID for cattle management purposes.

Fact Sheets