Hauling to Crawford, Neb on G-Form to be discussed
While a brand inspection is currently required to haul cattle to the Crawford Livestock Auction in Crawford, Neb., producers in eastern Wyoming feel a G-Form, similar to what’s used to go to South Dakota markets, would be both more convenient and efficient. A meeting on the subject will be held June 1 in Lusk to discuss a transition.
“The meeting will be informative in nature. The producers want to put the pros and cons forth for consideration. They would like to able to get a G-Form and are still willing to pay fees,” comments Crawford Livestock Auction owner Jack Hunter.
He adds there are times when a producer heads to town with a couple weigh-up cows and a brand inspector is unavailable, and having a G-Form to travel to Crawford would be more convenient and would also reduce time, mileage and expense for the Wyoming Livestock Board (WLSB), as the expenses can outweigh the income under those circumstances.
WLSB Director Jim Schwartz says his agency has received over 200 letters from producers on the issue, most from Niobrara, Weston and Converse counties and most in favor of using a G-Form for Crawford.
“We have concerns in terms of revenue from writing G-Forms and what impact that would have on the brand program,” says Schwartz. “I understand it would be a convenience, but it also cuts brand program revenue in half. A full inspection costs $1.50, while a G-Form only costs 75 cents.”
Schwartz also has concerns about where to draw the line. “If we allow a G-Form to go to Crawford, then what happens when producers want to expand to Gering?” he questions, adding it could lead to interest in using G-Forms for Greeley, Colo., Billings, Mont. or into Idaho.
“I understand the convenience this would provide to producers on the eastern side of the state, but I also have concerns about the impact to the brand board’s revenue. I can’t say where the board is going to go with this issue. If history repeats itself, they will likely be reluctant at this time, but that’s just speculation,” comments Schwartz.
He adds that crossing state lines with a G-Form has worked in the northeast corner of the state for 25 or 30 years with much success, but he’s not sure how much the board wants to expand.
Belle Fourche Livestock Exchange owner Dean Strong comments using a G-Form works very well for both producers in Wyoming and the sale barns in South Dakota, and has for many years.
“The trouble with a full inspection is the number of brand inspectors it would take to cover every rancher’s one to three weigh-up cows they sell this time of year. They would have a quite a time getting them all inspected, unless we put a Wyoming brand inspector in the yards,” comments Strong.
“The G-Form works well. Our inspectors have to look at all the South Dakota and Montana cattle, anyway. With Wyoming cattle, inspectors refer to the G-Form and inspect them just like any other bunch,” he adds.
In the last year Strong estimates 67,000 cattle traveled to Belle Fourche, S.D. or St. Onge, S.D. on a G-Form to be marketed.
“Call any producer from northeast Wyoming, and he has used a G-Form to bring cattle into South Dakota. It works well,” says Strong.
Schwartz says the Lusk meeting is primarily a listening session for the Board. On June 2 a full board meeting will be held in Casper, and Schwartz encourages producers to attend if they want to voice their opinion.
“This is something that’s really needed from a convenience and marketing options stand point. If it’s something producers want, they need to get behind it and give their support,” adds Hunter.
Heather Hamilton is editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.