North Dakota Stockmen's Association
The North Dakota Stockmen's Association is a cattle producer's trade association that dates back 89 years. 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 roll 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 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 annual Spring Roundup meetings across the state to keep members updated on industry news;
• The roundups are free to attend and includes a free steak dinner;
• Holds annual conventions where members vote on adopting policy resolutions;
• Defends against activist groups that want to harm our industry and much more.