From Gate to Plate

Published on Fri, 12/21/2012 - 9:48am

Of all the basic human needs, food is at the top.  Twenty five years ago no one thought about or cared about food traceability. We bought it, we ate it and life was good.  Today, the world cares. Mad cow and foot and mouth disease, contaminated milk, e-coli, listeria, salmonella, bird flu; those are all words that strike fear into the hearts of consumers, producers and governments.

ViewTrak Technologies Inc. “” began in 1999 in response to the emerging global marketplace demand for food traceability systems and is already the most widely used tracing and trading software in the industry. ViewTrak supports over 50 million head of livestock annually with innovative IT products. ViewTrak has developed, acquired and partnered with existing and emerging technologies and companies to collect, store and transfer information to enable food supply chain stakeholders to capture information and value far beyond what had been historically available. In the journey to become the Livestock Information Technology Leaders, ViewTrak created hardware and software solutions “from Gate to Plate”, meaning across all sectors of the livestock food chain, in providing solutions to Farmers & Ranchers, Auction Barns, Feedlots and Packers & Processors.

As an animal moves along the supply chain to the processing plant, we don’t recreate information systems that already exist. We extract information from existing systems and put it into ViewTrak. There is full traceability, full source verification and product management. ViewTrak clients learn best production practices and genetics to give them the best product and consumers the most safety.

ViewTrak has an enviable track record. As a National Data Provider to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency, Viewtrak was asked to work on the design and development of the Livestock Identification Services (LIS) of Alberta…..and LIS adopted the system and continues to use ViewTrak software and services every day.

ViewTrak recently unveiled an internet based cattle marketing tool created specifically for and administered by the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. As a direct result of the South Dakota Certified Beef Program Act, SOUTH DAKOTA CERTIFIED™ came into existence, making South Dakota the first governmental agency to pursue a state initiated beef certification program. The SOUTH DAKOTA CERTIFIED™ Beef program incorporates state-verified production protocols to ensure a quality, consistent eating experience for consumers…..and ViewTrak software is used to register every animal that is enrolled.

Along with the development of the criteria for the SOUTH DAKOTA CERTIFIED™ Beef program, it was recognized that many live cattle production practices have a direct impact on beef quality. To help producers capture the value associated with these production practices and to provide a credible source of live cattle for SOUTH DAKOTA CERTIFIED™ Beef, the South Dakota Certified Enrolled Cattle™ program was created.

To add fuel to the ViewTrak fire is the recent announcement that an investor group led by W. Brett Wilson, one of Canada’s most successful and respected entrepreneurs, acquired control of ViewTrak. Wilson is well known for his role as the lead deal-making Dragon for three seasons on the Gemini Award-winning CBC television show, Dragons’ Den. He is Chairman of Canoe Financial, a privately owned investment management firm with over $1.6 billion in assets focused on providing investors with unique opportunities to profit from Canada’s increasing prominence on the global stage. He is also Chairman of Prairie Merchant Corporation, a private merchant bank focused on business opportunities in the energy, agriculture, real estate, sports, and entertainment industries. In 1993, he co-founded FirstEnergy Capital Corp., a leading Canadian brokerage firm that provides investment-banking services to Canada’s oil and natural gas sector.

“With this change in leadership, and the outstanding business records of the new appointees, we’re confident we can build on Viewtrak’s strengths,” said Wilson, adding that the company is already moving on growth opportunities in both government and private sectors across North America.

The world is a puzzle and the food industry is a puzzle also. That is why ViewTrak has made all of its products interact and fit together like pieces of a puzzle, to solve the everyday challenges of:

 Farmer & Ranchers

 Auction Marts


 Packers & Processors


To achieve their goals of:

 Transparency and Safety in the Food Supply

 Improved Viability of Food Producers

 Reduction of Waste and Inefficiencies

 Complete Traceability


ViewTrak has built its business on the following principles:

1. Systems must be rugged and simple to use

2. Systems must be able to operate quickly

3. Systems must be customizable for each market and way of doing business


ViewTrak takes a whole product solution approach, allowing end users to see how their information can be captured and used to maximize value. No system has value without follow up support and with ViewTrak’s support by the industry’s largest and most, experienced support staff, your business couldn’t be in better hands. 




Bovitrak® (in the United States) and Beeftrak® (in Canada) give primary producers an advantage to market their animals with lifetime animal health records, traceability, age and source data. They are the basis upon which the South Dakota Certified Enrolled Cattle™ website was developed and are complete cattle management software solutions for the accurate management of cattle operations.



Each year, more than 30,000,000 cattle in North America, move through markets using ViewTrak systems. 

MarketMaster® and AuctionMaster Pro® software for livestock auction markets have become the most complete and effective labor saving tools available for processing data in livestock auction markets. 

Have a permanent name and address file containing all necessary information about your buyers and sellers; automated accounting; buyer invoices easily combined,; split “tickets” or “drafts” easily moved around to meet any selection criteria requested for invoicing; buyer invoice “re-caps” are available for viewing or printing; seller’s checks can be “split” into as many settlements as required with almost any split option you can imagine; rugged, proven hardware and industrial strength operating system.



Viewtrak has feedlot software solutions that save time, money and headaches!

In the livestock industry, decisions are only as good as the information available and ViewTrak’s simple, yet powerful tools take the pain out of data collection, reporting and analysis, providing accurate information, quickly and easily!

Viewtrak offers three feedlot programs that can be used independently or can complement each other in the whole feedlot suite package.

 Feedlot Solutions

 Feed Bunk Solutions

 Cattle Medical System

Viewtrak also has rugged, touch screen Data Collection System in the DT-500 chute-side terminal.  This handy tool is perfect for entering and collecting data chute-side along with ability to automatically upload data to the CCIA Database.




Viewtrak Technologies designs, manufactures and services innovative, high quality hardware and software for meat packing and processing plants.

The DT-500 Data Collection System can be easily customized and has touch screen allowing  easy data entry.  The DT-500 can automatically verify data on 3rd party databases quickly by way of the internet.

The PG-207 Electronic Pork Grader and the new LG-409 Electronic Lamb Grader are the top grading tools on the market today, are easy to use and can withstand even the most harsh slaughterhouse environments. They evaluate carcasses for the most relevant data points—fat thickness, lean meat thickness, meat percentage and carcass class.  They are also fully compliant with the latest regulations for electronic identification.

ViewTrak is very excited to announce their most recent business association with the top cattle hedging software in North America, www.HedgePositions.comfrom , who will be displaying their software in booth #604 at the NCBA Convention in February 2013.

Now, ViewTrak software integrates with HedgePositions by automatically uploading your lot information into a secured server and your personal account. From HedgePositions your projected break-evens by lot are compared to the Live Cattle or Feeder Cattle marketing month futures. After adjusting for your local basis you can monitor your Profit/Loss per head through the feeding period.

In HedgePositons you can enter basis contracts with packers and leave open and float with the futures market or price to lock in a P/L. Futures and Options trades entered through R.J. O’Brien or will automatically upload into your account and then you can allocate these Risk Management trades by month, lot or specific owner. As the market moves your closed and open futures and options mark-to-the-market with cash to give you open head P/L and a closeout of lot and risk management P/L for the year, quarter, month, lot or specific owner.

For instance, if a client has the following scenario before him, how can that risk be best managed?:

“If I have 1500 animals that will be ready for market 160 days from now, What will they be worth? What may be my RISK and OPPORTUNITIES?” With HedgePositons you can create a “What-if” to give a financial picture of what the inventory will be worth in the future, identify the PRICE and/or BASIS RISKS and help guide you to the best course of action by trying futures and options strategies that optimize EQUITY. HedgePositons offers the opportunity to manage business risk in a proactive manner!

At they teach service and support three Risk Management “STRATEGIES” that identify and Manage Risk. They follow a 3-step “HEDGE DECISION” process (CASH; BASIS then FUTURES) that guide decisions to pricing triggers and “Hedge Alternatives”. Their goal in Managing Risk is to optimize the value of assets and manage liabilities, netting a growth in EQUITY!

The folks at are there to support you with all your Risk Management needs!


For more information on the value of ViewTrak technology, please view this video: