SD Brand Board Director to Retire

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PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) The South Dakota Brand Board is looking for a new Director-as Larry Stearns will be retiring in the next few months.  Stearns has been Brand Board Director for the past 5 ½ years.   He says he told the board of his intentions to retire last fall.

The board has been accepting applications for a replacement for Stearns and has 14 people to consider for the job in the coming days. Stearns says it’s likely that interviews will be conducted over the next few weeks and a decision could be made on his successor at the next regular Brand Board meeting January 23.

Stearns says he has enjoyed his time working for the Brand Board.

Stearns says one of the challenges he faced in leading the Brand Board was when the board took over the brand inspection program from the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.

Besides serving the Brand Board, Stearns over the years has helped run his family’s horse ranch in North Dakota, was a researcher at North Dakota State University, worked for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and held other positions.  Depending on various factors, including the status of proposed Brand Board legislation; Stearns says he will probably hand over his job to a new director around April 1.

The South Dakota Brand Board oversees livestock brand registration, ownership inspection, livestock theft and fraud investigation and brand law violations.  The director administers Brand Office’s operation and finances.  There are more than 26,000 registered livestock brands in South Dakota.  Livestock ownership inspection is done before livestock are sold at auction markets and livestock sales in the inspection area-which is located west of the Missouri River.

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