The First USDA Organic Certification

In the early 1990’s the organic beef industry was beginning to take off, with more people recognizing that while it was more expensive, organic meat tasted better because it didn’t have antibiotics or growth hormones used in it. One pioneer of Organic Natural Beef was Mel Coleman Sr., who had a passion for providing natural products to the market.

Kobe beef of Japan had approached Coleman to use his cattle as a source for their natural beef but they wanted more documentation about his “Natural” claim.  This is when Mel Coleman Sr. teamed up with National Band & Tag to create an ear tag that could partner with a tracking system his son-in-law was programming. With this new tracking system, Coleman would then be able to prove that his animals were raised from birth with No Antibiotics, No Added Hormones and No Preservatives… Ever!

National Band & Tag’s Kevin Haas worked closely with Coleman, “My first impression of Mel Coleman Sr. was that he was larger than life. He was a tall, strong man who had a commanding presence but was as gentle as a lamb and was very passionate about his family and his business. I remember talking to Mel one time and he said he wanted us to taste his product to make sure we understood the difference. Two days later a cooler of fresh steaks showed up at our factory. We went out and bought some local steaks and did a blind taste test. Coleman’s products were definitely better! I was so impressed, I saved the label!”

Coleman Beef Label

Coleman Beef LabelTo solve Coleman’s problem of proving his meat was all-natural for Kobe beef, Haas came up with the idea of using a special coated metal ear tag that allowed for a permanent bar code to be Laser Marked onto the tag. Due to the design of the tag, the bar code was protected inside the ear throughout the life of the animal. The bar-coded ear tag, Style 56, proved to be a low-cost method to electronically identify his entire herd of Natural Cattle, thus showing the “Farm to Table” traceability.

At about this same time, the USDA had created a new food label called “Organic”. Coleman applied for this label using the new ear tag program as proof of his organic methods and he was immediately granted the 1st Certified Organic Beef label in the USA. There was a lot of work that went into this accomplishment and everyone from National Band & Tag was proud to have been a part of it.

In 2004 Mel Coleman Sr. was named as one of BEEF Magazine’s Top 40 contributors to the building of today’s dynamic and exciting beef industry, “Coleman was one of the first to use ear tag record systems for verifying production protocol, and developed humane production and handling requirements that are now standards for natural meat production.” (

Today, organic products are in high demand. The bar has been set high for safe, fresh and wholesome foods. Little did he know, but Mel Coleman Sr. was way ahead of his time.

style 56 cattle ear tag

Style 56 – Bar Coded Cattle Ear Tag

The picture above is a sample from the 1990’s of the tags NB&T made for Coleman. In a 1997 interview with In Motion Magazine, Mel Coleman Sr. mentioned the ear tags used to identify the cattle, “When we get about 100 [calves] we’ll move them off and work them. We call working them as this: when they’re about a month old, we’ll put a tag in their ear, which is an ID tag. … They carry this little white tag in their ear all their life.” (

Mel Coleman Sr. passed in 2002, but his legacy and practices continue through Coleman Natural Foods, “The Way Nature Intended, for Over 125 Years®”.

Happy Thanksgiving — It’s Turkey Time!

turkey band

Banding a Turkey

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! What better way to celebrate than by sharing an article on wild turkey banding? This article by the NWTF California Chapter details their research from when Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area (UBBWA) Manager Tim Hermansen, and Environmental Scientist Laura Cockrell teamed up with NWTF (National Wild Turkey Federation) with the hope of creating a spring turkey hunt at UBBWA.

The spring turkey hunt at UBBWA was approved and started in the Spring of 2015.  UBBWA and NWTF researchers planned to use the hunt to study turkey populations in the area, and make sure that the hunt wouldn’t negatively affect populations in the future. To begin their study though, they had to catch and band as many wild turkeys as possible. The return on leg bands from hunter-harvested birds is the data they would need to complete their study.

To band the turkeys, specific areas were first baited over several weeks, once a large group of turkeys was in the area, a large net was then fired out of a compressed air cannon to catch the turkeys. Researchers and volunteers then untangled the birds from the net and placed them in individual boxes. Each turkey was then processed, which included measurements of age, sex, weight, wing length, tarsal length, beard length, and spur length. They were then banded, with each band having a unique number assigned to each turkey.

Overall, their project has been quite successful. The team captured a total of 21 wild turkeys and banded them in 2015. In 2016, they captured and banded 28 turkeys.  So far, only one banded bird has been harvested and reported.

Read the full article and see more pictures here:

Replica Bands and Custom Bird Bands

replica bird bands

Replica Bird Bands

Did you know that we make replica bird bands and custom bird bands? We make band sizes all the way from a humming bird to a tundra swan. We offer standard NB&T Size bird bands, or for an additional fee you can get a Federal Size band.

To order a Replica Band, we need a copy of your Certificate of Appreciation from the USGS. After we receive your copy of the certificate and your order, we will confirm it with the USGS and then produce your order. Please call for a quote on Replica Bands.

For custom bands we can stamp almost anything you want on it, including names, dates, logos and more. We’ve done bands that say “marry me”, ones used as business cards, and memorial bands for loved ones. We offer plain aluminum bands or to match your event or business colors, we have colored aluminum in: Plain, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Gold, Purple, Black, White and our newest color, Turquoise!

View all of our band sizes, colors, materials and pricing Here!

1 Year vs. 3 Year Rabies Tags

3 year rabies vaccination

3 Year Rabies Vaccination Tag

As a vet you have the option of a 1 or 3 year rabies vaccine, but you need the appropriate tag to match!

If you are choosing to do a 1 year rabies tag, regular .050 aluminum will work. But, if you are looking to do a 3 year rabies tag, you need something durable to last longer on an animal.

For 3 year rabies tags we recommend .064 aluminum, which is thicker–or a stainless steel tag. There are only select colors available for .064 aluminum versus the .050 aluminum rabies tags, so please call for availability.

We look forward to providing your 1 year and 3 year rabies vaccination tags!

PetData & National Band and Tag

petdata logoPetData is an excellent service for making licensing pets in your area easy. They currently administer animal licensing programs for municipalities, animal control, and humane organizations across the country. For over 18 years they have processed over 6 million pet licenses! PetData provides an online service for their clients with licensing information, custom service tools, taking payment, mailing license reminders and notices, and much more.

PetData will supply you everything you need, except the tags! This is where National Band & Tag comes into play! We offer over 100 different dog & cat license tag styles to choose from as well as multiple colors, materials and sizes. We can custom stamp your information on the front of the tag and then on the back.petdata tags

We offer quantity discounts on all our tags. Call us at 859-261-2035 or email at [email protected] for a free quote!