The two sides at the recent brand inspection hearing of the Nebraska Agriculture Committee in West Point came to an abrupt conclusion after nearly three hours of testimonials.
That conclusion being . . . neither agrees with the other.
Introduced in the Nebraska Legislature is a bill, LB 654, that would expand the brand inspection area statewide. That bill is being held in the agriculture committee pending outcomes of LR 271 and 290, which are resolutions for studies into the proposal.
The brand issue is not over the physical branding of the animals. It is over whether a third party inspector is needed at the time of cattle movement or selling of cattle to market to verify ownership.
For those in the east it’s about something more than the added protection. It’s about money.
Brand inspection now takes place either at the time when cattle leave the brand inspection area, or when they change ownership. Cost for the inspection is .75 cents per head. A second one-time charge is also placed on the producer for expenses accrued by the inspectors.
In testimony, one producer in Cuming County said that right around 750,000 head of cattle are marketed per year countywide. With the .75 cents, that would trim around $562,500 off the bottom line for cattle producers in the county.
“I’ve never had a calf lost, so why the extra expense, stress on the cattle, and paperwork,” said Tom Hagedorn of West Point, representing the local cow/calf association.
Area cattle producers and bankers took turns at the podium with the same recurring theme. Trusting your neighbor seemed to be a repeated theme. Some even asked for the brand inspections to be eliminated completely in the state.
For the full story, pick up the September 25 Wisner News-Chronicle, or call 402-529-3228 to subscribe.