Branding, barbed wire and blockchain

Thursday, July 12, 2018

EVILS TOWER, Wyoming - Barbed wire fences cut across the grassy prairie of Campstool Ranch, stretching out under the watchful gaze of Devils Tower National Monument near Hulett, Wyoming. 

It’s branding day, and the cowboys and cowgirls here have kicked their spurs, lassoed their ropes and herded their cows and calves into a corner for vaccinations, branding, castration and ear tagging – the same way they have since the 1800s on this land. 

Today, in addition to the same hot-iron “DD” brand that generations of cows before them have received, these calves will come away with an extra piece of ear jewelry: a computerized blockchain tag that could revolutionize how ranchers keep records. 

High-Tech Meets Heritage 

“Branding and barbed wire are the original provenance tracking system for agriculture,” said Rob Jennings, an advisor to the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition. “This is high-tech meets heritage.” 

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