WLSB works on strategic plan, budget
Douglas – Over the last few months the Wyoming Livestock Board (WLSB) has been in the process of fleshing out a strategic plan, which has to be turned into the Governor’s office every year.
“We revamped the strategic plan to establish the responsibilities, goals and performance measures of the Livestock Board and the staff,” said Wyoming State Veterinarian Jim Logan at the Aug. 17 listening session for the agency at the Wyoming State Fair. “Over time, the new director Leanne Stevenson, myself, the board and staff will flesh out how we’ll achieve what’s listed.”
This time of year the WLSB is also responsible for submitting a budget, which Logan said they would work on “in earnest” for the last two weeks of August.
WLSB President Eric Barlow said a computerized system is a high priority in the budget.
“We’ll continue to take positive steps in that direction, and quite a bit of our discussion at our next meeting will be trying to continue that process,” said Barlow, adding that computerization is a funding issue. “In our last legislative session we were allowed to use approximately $360,000 of our earmarked fund – our brand inspection and recording fund – to get us into the first phase of an integrated program in brand inspection.”
Barlow added that, because of the change in administration, which led to changes in agency heads, including the Chief Information Officer, the WLSB has been advised the Governor’s office would like to take a fresh look at the state agency’s approach to computerization.
“I think the fresh look is manifesting into something that will be meaningful, but maybe not as timely as we had hoped,” he noted.
“This current budget process and legislative session will determine how fast and where we move,” continued Barlow. “I think we have a good work product in front of us. It’s not as expensive, with more of a phased approach, but it is tediously, painfully slow.”
In addition to the discussion on the budget and strategic plan, the WLSB listening session featured the Chapter 8 import rules, which are now out for public comment.
“These rules were released last week, and they have a 50-day comment period ending Oct. 7,” said Logan. “These are import rules, and we typically don’t get a lot of comments back to us until the rules go into effect. It’d be a lot better if people would comment on these rules and their impacts to producers, vets and businesses prior to when the comment period ends, so that we can consider those.”
Logan said many of the rule changes pertain to consolidation of sections to shorten the rules, and to hopefully make them more understandable.
An update on the brand program was also available.
“The long-term decline in cattle inventory and livestock inspections in Wyoming may have leveled off,” said WLSB Brand Commissioner Lee Romsa in information he provided to the gathering. “There is no indication that cattle numbers will rebound to pre-drought levels, but the brand inspection program remains solvent, and the anticipated revenues from brand inspection fees, brand recording fees and the general fund will be sufficient to meet the needed revenue for the FY12 budget.”
Christy Martinez is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.