Updates and Changes from the Wyoming Livestock Board
By Steve True
The Wyoming Livestock Board (WLSB) would like to take the opportunity to apprise producers and partners of changes occurring within and around the agency.
First change of note would be among the board members themselves. As many know, WLSB members are appointed by the Governor of Wyoming to serve a six-year term. This spring, our board had three extremely active board members reach the end of their terms.
The agency and current board would like to publicly thank Todd Heward from Shirley Basin, Mark Eisele from Cheyenne and Laurie Boner of Glenrock for their service to the livestock industry and the state of Wyoming. I would personally like to thank them publicly for their insight, advice and input for the agency. They leave big shoes to fill.
The members remaining on the board are Shaun Sims of Evanston, Kirby Camino of Buffalo, Dr. Warren Crawford from Sundance and Martin Mercer of Hyattville. They have welcomed the new appointees, which include Hugh Hageman of Fort Laramie, Mary Owens of Bar Nunn and John Eversole of Rock Springs.
The WLSB held a meeting in Casper in April to thank the outgoing members and welcome the new. At the time, board officers were elected for the upcoming year. Shaun Sims was elected as president, with Kirby Camino being elected as vice president.
As the board changes, so does the agency. Any producers who have not seen the press release regarding Dr. Logan should take heed. At the board meeting on June 9, Dr. Jim Logan offered his retirement letter to the board, which was met with many thankful and heartfelt responses regarding his service to the industries.
Several of these can be seen in the press release separate from this article. From my own perspective, after my appointment as director, Jim was forthcoming and extremely valuable in learning to straddle the corridors of governance and production livestock. I value and respect his immeasurable contributions to the industries and value his friendship. He will be sorely missed in his role as state veterinarian, but I have no doubts his phone will continue to ring as the personal relationships he has built will continue.
The board has opted to accept intra-agency, or divisional, applications and will move judiciously to appoint Dr. Logan’s replacement. We will keep the industries appraised of those developments.
The WLSB Inspection and Recording staff continues to see change with retirements and the hiring of new personnel. We have been able to interview and hire outstanding individuals for many of these vacancies, and will continue to recruit for the remaining positions.
Brand recording has completed the most recent renewal period, with the typical level of 80 percent of folks who were eligible having renewed their brands. In the previous session of the legislature, one may remember the renewal process was changed to allow for the following: A brand owner with a brand up for renewal now has options for the term of the renewal.
In the past, brands were renewed for a 10-year period only. The Joint Agriculture Committee forwarded statute change, which passed the legislature, to allow brands to be renewed on an extended basis in 10-year increments.
For example, the brand owner could renew for 10, 20 or 30 years, or all the way up to 100 years in ten-year increments. This allowed the WLSB to permit this extended process without rebuilding the entire computer system or radically changing the way producers renewed their brands. We had a total of 288 brand owners who chose to renew on an extended basis, with several opting all the way to 100 years. This process was seamless to execute and we appreciate the help of the committee to achieve this change.
Remember, the delinquent period for a non-renewed brand is now two years. However, if a brand is delinquent, it cannot be used on livestock. Only a currently recorded brand can be used. The process allows the brand owner to bring their brand out of delinquent status in this two-year period.
The two criminal investigators within WLSB continue to conduct trainings on livestock law and practices for Sheriffs’ offices. Our investigators and sheriffs in four counties have forged contracts for targeted enforcement and patrol, predicated on WLSB and Sheriffs’ reports of livestock enforcement issues. WLSB investigators have a few other Sheriffs’ offices in discussion and plan to engage in several more of these agreements
We recently were able to meet in person with WSLB meetings in April and June, testify at a Joint Agriculture Committee interim meeting and enjoy seeing many of the state’s producers at the Wyoming Stock Grower’s spring convention. Brand Commissioner Romsa and I were also able attend our district brand inspector meetings in April and May. We will be out and available for any industry groups who wish to visit, and will seek input on issues as they arise.
Steve True is the director of the Wyoming Livestock Board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit the WLSB website at wlsb.state.wy.us.