BeefChain technology panel a highlight at the Southeastern Wyoming Beef Production Conference
Teresa Clark for The Fence Post
November 28, 2018
Like most other ranchers, Drew Persson would like to receive a premium for the high quality beef he raises on his ranch north of Gillette, Wyo. So when he heard about a new program in Wyoming involving BlockChain Technology, he checked the program out, and became one of the pilot ranchers in the state to try out the BeefChain program. "I got into the program to see what kind of premiums I could get by being involved in it," he told more than 100 ranchers during the Southeastern Wyoming Beef Production Conference in Torrington, Wyo.
"BlockChain is a technology that involves accounting. It allows you to put your trust in an untrusted system. Blocks are mathematically guaranteed," said Philip Schlump, who is the CTO of BeefChain, and an assistant in functional programming at the University of Wyoming. For those who enroll, BeefChain is a way for ranchers to guarantee their customers that the beef they produce in Wyoming is actually from Wyoming. "Our goal is to build a brand. We want to create a chain of trust with accurate data so we can eventually export to countries like China," Schlump said.
Tyler Lindholm, who ranches southwest of Sundance, Wyo., who is a Wyoming state representative, and chairman of the Wyoming BlockChain Task Force, said the program is a new type of technology in the U.S. and in the world, and that Wyoming is trying to jump in on the ground floor. "What we are trying to do is attach a premium to existing technology that will benefit the Wyoming rancher. I am tired of producing premium beef that ends up mixed in with Brazilian beef, and they see more of the benefit from that than I do," he said.
Ogden Driskill, a Wyoming state senator, and a rancher who is part of the pilot project, agreed. "We have been supporting the bottom end of the cattle industry. We get them a better price for their product, while we take less for our higher quality product," he said.
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