North Dakota Stockmen's Association
The North Dakota Stockmen's Association is a cattle producer's trade association that dates back to 1929. Cattlemen on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and surrounding areas were tired of the chronic cattle rustling plaguing their herds. Andrew Johnston, a Watford city area cattleman, decided to call a meeting to determine what could be done about it.
The gathering took place on June 6, 1929 - now considered christening day for the North Dakota Stockmen's Association. Founders at that meeting elected John Leakey as their president and each pitched in $5 a person to establish a reward fund payable to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone stealing cattle, horses or mules in North Dakota.
It was the birth of not only the association, but its role in cattle protection through brand inspection.
As the association grew older, members found value in banding together on other issues - strength in numbers - and so the mission expanded to what it is today: to unite, protect, promote, educate and serve the state's beef cattle industry.
Today, brand inspection is one of the cornerstones of the association along with Association Services, Brand Recording and Environmental Services and more.
Today the association:
• Offers up to $14,000 for information leading to arrest and conviction of those stealing cattle, horses or mules;
• Works to protect the livelihoods and the future of cattlemen and women;
• Advocates for property rights;
• Communicates industry challenges with state, national and government agencies;
• Lobbies at the capitol every day during the state legislature;
• Issues weekly updates to members during the legislative session;
• Publishes a monthly magazine, the North Dakota Stockman;
• Hosts free annual Spring Roundup meetings across the state to keep members updated on industry news;
• Defends against activitist groups that want to harm our industry.
• Holds annual conventions where members vote on adopting policy resolutions;
• Much more.