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Guest Opinions

WLSB Continues Progress on Initiatives

Written by Steve True

As we all enter into the swing of spring work, we here at the Wyoming Livestock Board (WLSB) would like to offer an update on our news, activities and goals.

Spring is busy for us as well. We have worked through the Legislative Budget Session, industry group meetings and prepared for the spring and summer. We have lost and added personnel in our Brand Recording office and welcomed a new senior investigator to our Law Enforcement group. Janet Fridline has joined us in Brand Recording, and many of you have had the pleasure of welcoming Ken Richardson to our Investigative unit. Ken is residing in Pinedale and, along with duties as senior investigator, will be the investigator for Uinta, Sweetwater, Sublette, Lincoln and Teton counties.

As you are aware, budgets are tight for the state, and WLSB will do its part while doing our very best to serve our industry and producers in the fashion to which they are accustomed.

Brand Commissioner Lee Romsa and I have begun district brand meetings. I enjoy greatly getting to visit with our inspectors and spend time with them. These folks are what makes our agency go, and we here in the Cheyenne office are glad to assist them in their duties of identifying ownership and monitoring movement of livestock in our state. At these meetings we are rolling out the equipment needed for the inspectors to start working with the computerized system. We will begin training soon and look forward to the capabilities this will afford us.

Wyoming State Veterinarian Dr. Jim Logan and his staff have been busy with herd plans, risk assessments for the Designated Surveillance Area (DSA), rule streamlining and preparing for another busy season of events across the state, particularly in time for State Fair!

As many of you know, we have been working hard to build a more effective collaboration with our producers, local and state law enforcement agencies and WLSB. I would like to thank the sheriffs of our state and the Highway Patrol for the candid conversations and ideas. These outstanding folks have the best interests of our population and our producers at heart. All of us are working in lean times and understand that working together is the most effective we can be.

I would like to offer a likely scenario and request for our producers and other livestock transporters through our state. We have already helped in training approximately 20 new troopers and have eight other trainings scheduled with other agencies before the middle of June. My scenario is this – consider this a heads up that there is a good chance that you will be pulled over at some point this spring or summer. You will be asked for your brand inspection and health papers, if necessary. My request is that you please have your papers and a smile for the officer making the stop. He may be one of ours, a Sheriff Deputy or a State Trooper, but whichever agency he or she represents, they are truly representing you and working to protect your interests! Interdiction and deterrence are two of our best weapons to help guard your livestock and business interests, so please be patient and say thanks.

In reference to this same subject, I would like to thank the Green River Valley Cattlemen’s Association and the Wyoming CattleWomen for the opportunity to visit with them and share some tips and techniques for preventing theft. We are always available for these conversations and welcome the opportunity to meet with groups, individuals or just give us a call.

We look forward to seeing many of you at the WSGA meeting and many other events around the state.

Happy spring, and may the moisture be just the right amount!