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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

Wyoming Livestock Board Sees Big Changes and Faces Challenges Head On

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By Steve True, Wyoming Livestock Board

So far, 2020 has been a year of change and challenges, many of which we face as a nation or state. Some are geographical in nature, as drought and near-drought conditions occupy much of the western grazing lands, and markets face challenge and upheaval.  

The redeeming factor is the agriculture industries have been facing challenges and change for decades, even centuries, and have always met the challenge head on.

We at the Wyoming Livestock Board would like to take this opportunity to apprise the state’s producers of the changes and challenges we face as an agency for the industry.

Celebrating 240 years of experience

We would first like to let you know of continuing change to the face of our Brand Inspection Unit. 

We want to celebrate the retirement and service to the state’s producers, of nine brand inspectors totaling nearly 240 combined years of brand inspection experience. These inspectors have decided to call it a day, and we will sorely miss their knowledge and experience.

Thank you is not nearly enough regard for the work and dedication these gentlemen have supplied to our industry and the State of Wyoming. If you see these folks, please say thank you and offer your respect. 

Those retiring include Gary McColl of Park County after serving 48 years, District Supervisor Ron McDonald of Laramie County after serving 38 years, Rusty Sturgeon of Goshen County after serving 35 years, Greg Bybee of Laramie County after serving 33 years, Dick Baker of Niobrara County after serving 28 years, Kevin Behunin of Uinta County after serving 26 years, Brett West of Niobrara County after serving 17 years, Calvin Clayton of Sheridan County after serving nine years and Keith Eisenbraun of Campbell County after serving four years.

Again, the knowledge, experience and industry savvy these men represent leave boot prints that will be nearly impossible to fill.

On the positive side, we have had the opportunity to meet outstanding applicants for each position, and have filled most of the positions. Please reach out to the office at 307-777-7515 for contact information for our new brand inspectors in these areas.  

Welcoming new members

We would also like to congratulate Roger Newkirk of Albany County, with 31 years of experience of his own, as our new District Supervisor for District Four.

We are also excited to introduce Dr. Hallie Hasel, DVM, as the new Wyoming Assistant State Veterinarian of Field Operations. Hasel has been following the cattle trails since she received her DVM from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1992. 

Hasel joined the Wyoming Livestock Board in June 2020, after chasing cattle fever ticks as director of the USDA Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program for six years along the southern border of Texas. 

Prior to eradicating fever ticks, Hasel followed the wagon tracks in western Kansas as owner of Hasel Veterinary Services, then as a field veterinary medical officer with USDA Veterinary Services. 

Adversity in agriculture provided challenges throughout her career. She followed Midwest droughts and blizzards to hurricanes and heat waves in deep South Texas. 

Hasel has collaborated with several federal agencies, including U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and the USDA Agriculture Research Service, developing projects to aid the livestock industry.

She served as an Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) veterinarian in conjunction with the APHIS and Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Partnership.

Legislation brings changes

Legislative action in the past two sessions brought forth new changes in the Brand Renewal process. These changes include the following.

First, the delinquent period for a brand, which has not been renewed has been increased from one year to two years.

Second, if a brand is due for renewal or if people wish to reactivate a delinquent brand, they can now choose to renew the brand for an extended amount of years. This new legislation allows the brand owner to renew the brand for 10, 20, 30 up to 100 years in 10-year increments. 

The cost for the first five increments is expected to be the current renewal rate of $330 for each 10-year term. The proposed discounted cost for the second five increments is $200 per each 10-year term.  One will be able to access this change and choose the number of 10-year increments on their upcoming renewal notice.

Third, one may modify the active term of their brand. For example, John Doe has a brand up for renewal in 2021.  He has another brand recorded in the same legal name, which is due for renewal in 2027. John wants to have both his brands come up for renewal at the same time.  

He may request to move the 2021 brand forward into the 2027 renewal period. John will pay a prorated fee for the period 2021 to 2027, then pay the full fee for renewal of both brands in 2027. This can only be done during a renewal period or to reactivate a delinquent brand.

 Brand owners with brands in the upcoming renewal will be sent an informational mailer on the details. Watch for more information in the near future. 

Board meeting scheduled

The board will meet via teleconference on July 16 at 7 a.m. At this time they will discuss enacting Emergency Rules for Chapter Nine, Brand Inspection/Recording Fees and Chapter 21 Rerecording Rules in order to address the legislative changes.

The enactment of Emergency Rules would allow the agency to implement the changes for the upcoming renewal period, while Permanent Rules would be moved forward to start the process for public comment and review.  

The board will also discuss moving forward with Emergency Rules and Permanent Rules for Chapter 25 Brucellosis Quarantine Mitigation Expense Reimbursement. Again, Emergency Rules will allow the board to implement procedures for the fall testing season, while allowing for public comment and review on the Permanent Rules.

The board has also seen change, as at our previous meeting on June 18, as board officer elections were held.  

Previous Vice President Mark Eisele of Cheyenne is the new livestock board president and Shaun Sims of Evanston was elected as vice president.  Remaining a member of the board but stepping down from terms as president of the board is Todd Heward. Thanks to Todd for his work as president and continuing board duties.  

Thanks to all livestock board members for their commitment to the livestock industries of the state.

Be well and hope to see you all soon!

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