As a millennial, it could be easy to call me an old adapter and part of a generation ready to embrace change and try out the latest and best gadgets and technology; however, my younger sister of Generation Z often reminds me that being 30 makes me old and out of the world.
And perhaps compared to her, they are. I have become an adult before smartphone, online dating and Apple watches. I still remember the life before the Internet, and it did not seem like long ago we had the old brick phones in our pickups, we played Oregon Trail on the computer, and our slow dialup connections made us wonder if this Internet business was all
READ: The first millennial, now Gen Z – Advice on how to survive
However, when it comes to cattle business, whether we like it or not, times are changing and the first adapters will be the ones that will find the greatest efficiency and profitability in this ever-changing beef industry.
"Blockchain" seems to be the next step in the ever-changing landscape of commerce, retailing and technology and livestock producers will soon have the opportunity to exploit this tool in the near future.
READ: Ready or not – blockchain will change the way you do business
I recently read about how blockchain will help consumers monitor the meat they eat. An article titled "Where's the beef?" Wyoming breeders point to blockchain to track it, " written by Kamila Kudelska for NPR explains how breeders can use this online ledger to track more than just transactions of their livestock.
Kudelska writes: "With blockchain, data like what cattle eats, what kind of vaccines it has received, and if it has ever been sick, it will be available to anyone." So Wyoming breeders who turn to this technology believe they can brandishing their meat as superior. "
A company called Beefchain.io is trying to connect ranch in Wyoming with consumers who will pay a premium for this meat.
"The unique methodology that every ranch uses … what grass they feed, everything is lost and as a result breeders are earning a few cents on the dollar," says Beefchain.io CEO Rob Jennings.
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"Traceability is of utmost importance to them [international markets] … food safety and protection from food frauds, packaged things are not those that they say they are. "
Using blockchain tags ($ 5 each), breeders can use these tags to track their cattle from pasture to meat, where in theory a consumer can scan the code and see the meat information.
It appears that the beef and veal industry has been talking about things like the national identification identification and labeling system of the country of origin for years now, and nothing really got merit and the legs to move forward. So what makes this different? Perhaps nothing, or perhaps the demands of consumers, both nationally and internationally, are finally strong enough that the beef industry will be motivated to finally provide more transparency and clarity in the labeling of its final products.
READ: Will we ever get animal identification for life and traceability? Probably yes
But I see some great future challenges. For example, keeping these blockchain cattle apart may be feasible, but is it profitable for the breeder? Will consumption actually pay a premium for blockchain beef, or is this more fanfare going to the roadside?
Companies like Beefchain are betting that consumers will pay more for a label where they can scan a barcode to learn more about their beef, and anticipate that their products will be on the shelves as soon as 2019.  Perhaps it seems far-fetched. Perhaps Beefchain will find that consumers eventually shrink from a higher price. Or maybe it will change the way our US beef sector will look in the next 10-20 years. All I know is that change is coming, and it will be best to be ready for it.
Amanda Radke's opinions are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.